BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

June 12, 2015 06:00 ET

Inaugural BMO Wealth Management Index Finds Ontarians Scoring Highly in Having a Financial Strategy and Insurance in Place

- National index ranks residents of each province on who is most successful at managing their wealth according to a variety of criteria

- Ontario places sixth among the provinces

- Ontarians scored well in having a financial strategy and having a life insurance policy in place; opportunities exist for them to improve by working with a professional to ensure the effectiveness of their financial plan and prioritizing savings to sustain their lifestyle

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 situation 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 which residents are 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 69.2, Ontario residents ranked sixth out of the 10 provinces; the national average score was 69.3. Ontario residents scored highest in the following areas:

  • Having a financial strategy in place (80 per cent)
  • Reviewing their financial plan on a regular basis (79 per cent)
  • Having a life insurance policy in place (62 per cent)

The categories in which Ontarians scored lowest included:

  • Ensuring the effectiveness of their financial plan (two thirds have not used a professional to draft their plan)
  • Prioritizing their retirement savings (more than half do not consider this a top priority)
  • Having a will or disability insurance (only 43 per cent and 31 per cent have such insurance, respectively)
  • Having a relatively low rainy day fund (an average of $27,200 in emergency savings, which is more than $7,000 below the national average

"It's great to see that many Ontarians like to be on top of their financial plans and review them on a regular basis," said Sylvain Brisebois, portfolio manager, Senior Vice President and regional manager, Eastern Canada, BMO Nesbitt Burns, a part of BMO Wealth Management. "Wealth is multi-faceted and goes beyond how much is in your account, so it's important to manage your money strategically, organize your finances and plan for the future."

Ontario Residents Confident About Financial Preparedness

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

  • Sixty-two per cent are confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Eighteen per cent are not very confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Eleven per cent are not at all confident that they would be prepared financially

"The fact that nearly two thirds of Ontarians believe they can take on a major change successfully is very encouraging," said Betsey Chung, Chief Marketing Officer, Canadian Banking & Wealth Management, BMO Financial Group. "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

BMO Wealth Management Index - Key National Findings:

  • Canadians scored well on having a financial strategy (81 per cent) and ensuring their loved ones were financially secure by having a life insurance policy (66 per cent)
  • Opportunities exist for them to improve by working with a professional to ensure the effectiveness of their financial plan (66 per cent have not used a professional) and prioritizing saving for retirement (65 per cent do not do so)
  • When Canadians were asked about how they would fare financially in the event of a major life event (such as getting married, the birth of a child, loss of a job, etc.), 62 per cent are confident that they would be prepared financially, 21 per cent are not very confident and 10 per cent are not at all confident

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.

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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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