SOURCE: BMO Harris Financial Advisors

December 27, 2013 09:00 ET

BMO Harris Financial Advisors New Year's Study: Missourians to Focus on Getting Financially Fit in 2014

ST. LOUIS, MO and KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwired - Dec 27, 2013) -

  • Sixty percent of Missourians surveyed will be making a 2014 New Year's resolution by midnight, December 31st
  • More than one-third of all resolutions made by those surveyed in the state will focus on personal finance issues
  • Forty-two percent of Missourians surveyed currently have a financial plan

According to a study by BMO Harris Financial Advisors, 60 percent of Missourians surveyed will be making at least one New Year's resolution for 2014, with physical and financial fitness topping the list of how they hope to better themselves next year. 

Health and fitness was the number one resolution topic at 49 percent for surveyed Missourians, with financial fitness, such as paying down debt and saving money, constituting 37 percent of all planned New Year's resolutions. These were followed by:

  • Personal (learn a new skill, read more, etc.) - 34 percent
  • Love life (start dating, get married, etc.) - 15 percent
  • Career (work more/less, get a promotion, etc.) - 10 percent

Forty percent of respondents surveyed in the state reported that they would not be making a New Year's resolution for 2014.

"Making a commitment to become financially fit and following through with it is important to any family's future," said Tom Thornton, Regional Sales Manager, BMO Harris Financial Advisors. "Making plans to purchase a home, send your children to college or have a worry-free retirement takes forethought and careful money management. A good first step to achieving your financial goals is to work with a financial advisor to create a tailored plan that will help get you there."

A financial plan provides a roadmap that outlines the path from where someone is today to where they want to be in the future. At BMO Harris Financial Advisors, the process begins with a financial advisor reviewing a person's finances -- including assets, liabilities, income, spending habits and investments -- then building a personalized plan that takes these items and risk tolerance into account and fits with the rest of his/her life.

Show-Me State and Financial Plans

The study found that 42 percent of those surveyed living in Missouri currently have a financial plan. Of this group, the majority are convinced of the importance of a plan:

  • Ninety-four percent agree that their financial plan has helped them achieve financial goals in the past.
  • Sixty-two percent wish they had done a financial plan sooner.

Of those who do not currently have a financial plan, the most commonly cited reasons include:

  • Do not have enough money to justify having a financial plan (33 percent)
  • Do not know where to start (29 percent)
  • Not really sure what a financial plan is or what goes into one (24 percent)

"Missourians who have a financial plan believe it is well worth it," added Mr. Thornton. "For those who don't know where to start, I encourage them to meet with one of our financial advisors. The amount of money you have doesn't matter. Individuals of any income level can benefit from a financial plan. Putting together a solid plan and sticking with it is what's really important." 

Key National Findings:

  • Sixty-eight percent of those Americans surveyed will be making a New Year's resolution for 2014.
  • Setting goals related to personal finances will account for 28 percent of all resolutions made; other areas include health and finances (39 percent), personal goals (27 percent), love life (16 percent) and career (16 percent). 
  • Fifty-three percent who have made financial New Year's resolutions in the past have kept them -- with women being better than men at seeing them through (57 vs. 46 percent).
  • Forty percent of those Americans surveyed have a financial plan.
  • Eight-five percent of those with a financial plan feel that it has helped them achieve their goals.
  • The top reason identified for not having a financial plan is "do not have enough money to justify having one" (39 percent).

About BMO Harris Financial Advisors
BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc., offers a comprehensive range of investment advisory products that include financial planning strategies and estate planning strategies to meet the financial needs of high-net-worth clients. Offices are located throughout the U.S. Learn more at www.bmoharris.com/financialadvisors.

BMO Harris Financial Advisors(SM) is a trade name of BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc. Securities, investment advisory services and insurance products are offered through BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. SEC-registered investment adviser. BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc. and BMO Harris Bank N.A. are affiliated companies. Securities and insurance products offered are: NOT A DEPOSIT -- NOT INSURED BY THE FDIC OR ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY -- NOT GUARANTEED BY ANY BANK -- MAY LOSE VALUE.

Estate planning requires legal assistance which BMO Harris Bank and its affiliates do not provide. Please consult with your legal advisor. 

The survey was conducted by Pollara with an online sample of 1,001 Americans 18 years of age and over (including 100 Missouri residents), between November 20th and November 26th, 2013. A probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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