BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

June 12, 2015 06:00 ET

Newfoundland & Labrador Bests National Average in Inaugural BMO Wealth Management Index

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

- Newfoundland & Labrador had the fourth highest score among the provinces

- Residents achieved high scores because of their relatively low level of debt and likelihood of having a financial strategy, but could improve by increasing their assets and contributing to a rainy day fund

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND--(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 at managing their wealth. The study looked 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).

Newfoundland & Labrador scored 70.4 out of 100, placing them fourth behind Saskatchewan (72.9), Quebec (71.1) and Alberta (70.6). The national average score was 69.3.

Newfoundland & Labrador residents scored highest in the following areas:

  • Having a relatively low level of debt (average of $78,800, which is $20,000 lower than the national average)
  • Having a life insurance policy in place (78 per cent)
  • Having a financial strategy and ensuring its effectiveness (81 per cent have one and 39 per cent have used a professional to draft it)
  • Being confident in their finances in case of a financial emergency (40 per cent believe their savings could last them over a year in the event of a financial emergency, which is the highest percentage among the provinces)

The categories in which they scored lowest included:

  • The average amount of assets they possess (average of $432,600, which is $25,000 less than the national average)
  • The average amount they have in their rainy day fund (average of $18,700, which is almost half the national average and despite the province's confidence in their emergency savings)
  • Prioritizing retirement savings in a financial plan (64 per cent do not consider this to be a top priority)

"Having a financial plan is essential to effectively managing wealth so it's great to see that Newfoundland & Labrador residents are making this a priority," said Rick Thomson, Vice President and Market Leader, Atlantic Canada, BMO Private Banking, a part of BMO Wealth Management. "However, in order to ensure they're preparing for both planned and unplanned future events, the province's residents should consider regularly contributing to emergency savings and for their retirement as these will help ensure their financial well-being in the event of life changes."

Newfoundland & Labrador Confident About Financial Preparedness

In addition to Index ranking questions, Newfoundland & Labrador residents 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.).The results found:

  • Seventy-one per cent are confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Fourteen per cent are not very confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Four per cent are not at all confident that they would be prepared financially

"It's encouraging that almost three quarters of Newfoundland & Labrador residents believe they can take on a major change successfully," 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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