BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

June 12, 2015 06:00 ET

BMO Wealth Management Introduces Canada's First National Wealth Index

- Index ranks residents of each province on who is most successful at managing their wealth

- Saskatchewan places 1st among provinces in inaugural study

- Canadians score highest in having a financial strategy and having a life insurance plan in place; opportunities exist for them to improve by working with a professional to ensure efficacy of their financial plan and prioritizing saving for retirement

- Two thirds of Canadians feel they are financially prepared for a major life change

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 12, 2015) - BMO Wealth Management today launched a first-of-its-kind national Wealth Index, which provides a snapshot of Canadians' financial situations and measures their ability to manage their wealth.

The inaugural BMO Wealth Management Index ranks residents of each province out of a score of 100 on who is most successful in managing their wealth. This is determined by looking at a variety of criteria, including: having, reviewing and maintaining a financial plan; household debts and assets; retirement savings; having insurance in place; estate planning components; rainy day savings; and the sustainability of their current financial situation. The Index is unique among financial measures because it considers more than just "balance sheets" (i.e. how much money Canadians have).

With a score of 72.9, residents of Saskatchewan had the highest score among the provinces. They were followed by those in:

  • Quebec (second place with a score of 71.1)
  • Alberta (third with a score of 70.6)
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (fourth with a score of 70.4)

The national average score was 69.3. Canadians generally scored highest in the following areas:

  • Having a financial strategy (81 per cent do)
  • Having a life insurance plan in place (66 per cent do)

The categories in which they had the lowest scores included:

  • Ensuring the efficacy of their financial plan (67 per cent have not used a professional to draft their plan)
  • Prioritizing their retirement savings (65 per cent do not consider this a top priority)
  • Having critical illness or disability insurance (only 35 per cent and 39 per cent respectively have such insurance)

"BMO Wealth Management launched this Index to gauge Canadians' financial situations and identify where there is room for improvement," said Betsey Chung, Chief Marketing Officer, Canadian Banking & Wealth Management, BMO Financial Group. "We believe that the concept of wealth is multidimensional. Effectively managing wealth is about more than just the state of your balance sheet, it's also how you adjust to changes in your life and in the world around you - capitalizing on opportunities as they arise while securing your financial future."

Canadians Confident About Financial Preparedness

In addition to questions to determine the Index rankings, Canadians were asked about how prepared they are to deal with significant life changes, such as getting married, the birth of a child, job loss, etc.:

  • Sixty-two per cent are confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Twenty-one per cent are not very confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Ten per cent are not at all confident that they would be prepared financially

"It's encouraging that almost two thirds of Canadians believe they can take on a major change successfully," said Ms. Chung. "Life events and market changes are often catalysts for people to reconsider their approach to wealth management. We're here to help clients turn these changes into opportunities - whether it's a fresh start, a new endeavour or a chance to give back."

BMO Wealth Management recently launched a multi-faceted ad campaign that is appearing across all customer experience platforms and webpages. The campaign tells the stories of clients going through significant life changes - newly single, aging parents, kids returning after university and changing market conditions to name a few - and showcases how BMO Wealth Management can help clients turn those changes into opportunities for greater financial success and peace of mind.

BMO Wealth Management Index - Provincial Breakdown

Province Index Score
National 69.3
Saskatchewan 72.9
Quebec 71.1
Alberta 70.6
Newfoundland & Labrador 70.4
Nova Scotia 70.0
Ontario 69.2
Manitoba 68.4
PEI 66.7
B.C. 66.3
New Brunswick 58.9

Survey results cited in this report are from online interviews with a random sample of 1,403 Canadians, 18 years of age and over, conducted between April 10th and 13th, 2015. As a guideline, a probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.6%, 19 times out of 20. Results have been weighted using the latest census data to be representative of Canadians as a whole.

For more information on BMO Wealth Management, please visit: http://www.bmo.com/main/wealth-management.

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About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $633 billion as of April 30, 2015, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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