BMO Survey Shows Canadians Adapting to Chilly Economy But Not Everyone is Adjusting Their Savings and Investments

    TORONTO, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - The troubling economy is causing Canadians to
take action with their personal finances, but there is room for more to be
done, according to the BMO Savings Monitor, the first of three national
surveys released today by BMO Financial Group.

    -   The survey shows that nearly two-thirds of respondents say they will
        cut back or are adjusting their everyday spending because of the
        unstable economy
    -   More than 40 per cent state they plan to change their current
        investment mix to weather the storm

    "It's encouraging to know that people are taking time to assess the
situation and adapting to protect themselves during volatile times," said
Linda Knight, President and Chief Operating Officer of BMO Mutual Funds.
"However our research also indicates that some Canadians are unfazed by the
shaky economy - in fact they may be in denial. Having a plan in place to help
make sense of it all is paramount."
    The BMO Savings Monitor, conducted by Leger Marketing in December 2008,
is a three-part study gauging the opinions of Canadians on the global
financial crisis and its impact on their saving and investing strategies
throughout the RRSP period.

    RRSP savings safe, contributions suffer

    While the economic downturn has led most Canadians to stay the course
with their saving and investing strategies, some do feel they may need to be
somewhat cautious and involved, particularly when it comes to investing in

    According to the BMO Savings Monitor:

    -   Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians are confident that they will not need
        to withdraw from their current RRSP savings in order make ends meet.
    -   Six-in-ten say they will contribute as much to their RRSP this year
        as they have in the past
    -   However, 38 per cent are not planning to contribute to their RRSP
        this year as they believe they need the funds now

    Navigating without a roadmap

    Despite their positive outlook, many Canadians are choosing to navigate
economic uncertainties without a roadmap:

    -   While nearly seven-in-ten respondents admit they do not have a
        financial plan in place, 80 per cent feel that the current economic
        downturn is not enough of an incentive to create one
    -   More than 40 per cent of Canadians do not have emergency savings put
        aside in the event of a sudden change in circumstances

    The Leger Marketing online poll was conducted from December 10 to
December 16, 2008 and is based on a sample of 1,522 Canadians aged 18 and
older. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out
of 20.

For further information:

For further information: Deborah Rowe, Toronto,,
(416) 867-4897; Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,, (514)
877-1101; Laurie Grant, Vancouver,, (604) 665-7596

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