Survey data suggests they value their financial health, but not enough are taking steps to protect it
Canadians living in Quebec share a practically universal conviction that being financially healthy is important — but, as has been shown in other areas, there’s a gap between people’s philosophies and their actions.
In a recent Leger poll on over 2,200 Quebecers’ financial habits commissioned by Laurentian bank, 98% of respondents said they value their financial health. However, only 45% of the survey participants reported having a recent financial plan and 48% said they consult a professional to help them make decisions on their personal financial situation.
“Quebecers care about their financial situation, but too few of them take action by calling on a financial health expert to support and to properly advise them,” said Diane Pilote, Senior Vice-President, Retail Services (Quebec) at Laurentian Bank. “Regardless of the value of their assets, they could benefit from professional financial advice.”
Diving into the personal financial habits of Quebecers, the poll found that 73% of respondents have a budget for their everyday spending. But people revisited their plans with differing frequencies: while the majority do so at least once a month (27% every month, and 28% more than once monthly), 8% said they do follow-ups every two to three months, 4% every six months, 4% every year, and 2% less than once yearly.
As for the resources people consult for their finances, 48% said they consult at least one professional to help them make decisions related to their personal finances. That includes:
- An advisor from a financial institution (cited by 31% of participants);
- An independent advisor (11%);
- An accountant (9%);
- An insurance company broker (3%); and
- A securities broker (2%)
Among those who consult with professionals, more than half say they ask for advice at least once a year. Accountants were the most likely to be visited by advice-seekers at least once yearly (89%), followed by independent advisors (82%) and advisors from financial institutions (75%).
The top reasons to consult cited by advice-seekers were to get advice on personal financial planning (58%); to buy financial products (51%); and to carry out day-to-day operations (43%). The vast majority of such people also said they have confidence in their advisor, with 39% saying they were “very confident” and 57% saying they were “somewhat confident.”
“Everyone benefits from developing healthy financial habits early on—just as they do in other areas of their lives,” Pilote said. “And it starts with the help of a professional, who will assist them in understanding their personal situation with a financial health assessment that will lead to the development of strategies tailored to their goals.”