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BMO Financial Group

June 12, 2015 06:00 ET

Nova Scotia Beats 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

- Nova Scotia was in the middle of the pack, placing fifth

- Nova Scotians scored well because of having low levels of debt and having a financial strategy in place, but could improve in their amount of assets and ensuring the effectiveness of their financial plan by working with a professional

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(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).

Nova Scotia scored 70.0 out of 100, placing the province fifth behind Saskatchewan (72.9), Quebec (71.1), Alberta (70.6) and Newfoundland & Labrador (70.4). The national average score was 69.3.

Nova Scotians scored highest in the following areas:

  • Having a low level of debt (average of $79,800, which is lower than the national average of $99,700)
  • Having a financial strategy (76 per cent)
  • Having a significant amount in a rainy day fund (an average of $38,400, which is higher than the national average of $34,800)
  • Prioritizing retirement in a financial plan (80 per cent)

The categories in which they scored lowest included:

  • Ensuring the effectiveness of their financial plan (71 per cent have not use a professional to draft it)
  • Having a relatively low amount of assets (average of $249,900, which is more than $200,000 below the national average)
  • Having a critical illness insurance plan in place (35 per cent)

"Nova Scotians are taking many of the right steps to ensure their financial well-being. For example, it's great to see that they are managing debt and making sure they contribute to a rainy day fund," said Rick Thomson, Vice President and Market Leader, Atlantic Canada, BMO Private Banking, a part of BMO Wealth Management. "However, they should consider consulting a professional when developing a financial plan to get the most out of their savings and prepare for the unexpected. Wealth is multi-faceted and that is why BMO Wealth Management launched this index - to examine how Canadians in all provinces fare in wealth planning and to identify room for growth."

Nova Scotians Confident About Financial Preparedness

In addition to Index ranking questions, Nova Scotians were asked about how they would fare financially in the event a major life event (such as getting married, the birth of a child, loss of a job, etc.).The results found:

  • Fifty-six per cent are confident that they would be prepared financially
  • Twenty-four 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

"It's encouraging that more than half of Nova Scotians 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 have one) and ensuring their loved ones were financially secure by having a life insurance plan (66 per cent have one in place)
  • Opportunities exist for them to improve by working with a professional to ensure 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 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.

For more information on BMO Wealth Management, please visit 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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