Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council

January 18, 2010 08:00 ET

No Time Like 'NOW' to Get Into Financial Shape

Think beyond RRSPs this season: it's time for a Financial Plan

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2010) -

Attention assignment, business, and lifestyle editors:

January and February are when Canadians most typically have financial affairs on their mind. Whether it's the March 1 RRSP contribution deadline or recent New Year's resolutions, there is no better time than 'now' to get into financial shape.

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) urges Canadians to think beyond 'RRSPs' this season and make 2010 the year they add more financial planning into their lives. Here are some tips to get on track.

TIP #1: CREATE (OR UPDATE) YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN:
Too many people are 'winging it' when it comes to making financial decisions. Savings and investing will always be important but they are most effective when considered within an overall financial plan. Making RRSP decisions (or any other financial decisions) in isolation can be short-sighted. Now is the time to consider the bigger picture of your life goals, needs and circumstances and get a financial plan in place to support these goals. If you have a plan, remember to update it as life and circumstances evolve.
Learn more about financial planning: www.fpsc.ca/financial-planning-process

TIP #2: ENLIST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE:
Do-it-yourself investing and planning isn't for everyone – especially given the economic challenges experienced in 2009. There is an enormous amount of time, education and expertise involved in making sound decisions. The more complex the economy and one's financial circumstances, the more professional expertise may be required. More than ever, this is the year to consider engaging the services of those who have proven competence, knowledge, experience and ethics – such as Certified Financial Planner professionals, who are comprehensively trained in all aspects related to financial planning.
www.fpsc.ca/cfp-certification

TIP #3: ASK YOUR PLANNER HOW RISING INTEREST RATES WILL IMPACT YOUR FINANCIAL WELLBEING
For and beyond 'RRSPs'…..Thinking of buying a home? Is your mortgage soon up for renewal? Will you be leasing a car? Making investments? How much consumer debt am I carrying? According to the Bank of Canada, interest rates will likely rise within the next 6-9 months and this could impact your investments, your home-ownership costs/plans and your overall cost of living. Now is the time to start incorporating this into your planning so you aren't caught off guard. Ask a CFP professional for guidance on how to integrate pending interest rate changes into your financial plan.
Find a CFP professional in your area: www.fpsc.ca/find-cfp

TIP #4: BECOME A MORE INFORMED CONSUMER OF FINANCIAL ADVICE AND PRODUCTS:
Do your eyes glaze over when you hear "TFSA", "RDSP", "RRSP", "RESP"? While you don't have to become an expert in these different investing vehicles, it is important to learn a bit about the basics so that you can be a more engaged decision-maker in your financial affairs -- whether or not you work with a professional. Likewise, if you do decide to work with a planner, it's important to know who is qualified to offer financial planning advice. Since financial planning is not regulated in Canada, anyone can call themselves a financial planner. Last year's events reinforced the risks of putting blind trust in people who profess to have 'know-how' and expertise but in fact may not have the credentials, experiences and fiduciary obligations to back that up.

TIP #5: TAKE THAT FIRST STEP – THE REST WILL FOLLOW
Procrastination is the biggest impediment to getting started. Remember: you don't have to do it all at once. Simply take a first step to get started and incorporate more financial planning into your daily life: have a conversation with a planner, start a savings plan, or take stock of your spending and create a budget. These small steps add up and will put you on the path to your financial wellbeing.

Learn what to ask when interviewing a financial planner: www.fpsc.ca/10-questions-ask-your-planner

We have Certified Financial Planner professionals and FPSC executives available to provide insight and expertise related to these and other financial planning stories.

About Financial Planning Standards Council
Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring Canadians' financial planning needs are well served by developing, promoting and enforcing professional standards for financial planning, through CFP® certification, and raising awareness of the importance of financial planning to Canadians. FPSC licenses the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® marks in Canada. There are currently more than 17,500 CFP professionals in Canada and more than 120,000 individuals who have earned CFP certification in 22 countries around the world. These individuals are licensed to use the registered marks: CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP (with flame logo)®. See www.fpsc.ca for more information.

Contact Information

  • TO ARRANGE MEDIA INTERVIEWS OR FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
    Chadnick Communications (for FPSC)
    Eileen Chadnick
    416.631.7437
    eileen@chadnick.com
    or
    FPSC
    Heather Mills
    416.593.8587 x 235
    hmills@fpsc.ca