It looks like Canadians are expecting a happy New Year – and fuller bank accounts. According to a poll released by CIBC, 70 per cent of Canadians feel their financial standing is in for a boost this year.
“Canadians are entering 2013 with a more positive outlook on their finances today, and with the confidence that they can reach their long term financial goals,” says Christina Kramer, executive vice president of Retail Distribution and Channel Strategy for CIBC.
The poll shows a six per cent increase from last year’s sentiments.
A Plan For Action
Regionally speaking, residents of Ontario and The Prairies were most positive with 74 percent and 75 per cent, respectively, reporting high levels of confidence in their financial situation.
However, while positive economic sentiment is a refreshing change, Kramer says Canadians need to put their money where their mouths are.
“The next step is to turn that confidence into action by putting plans in place at the start of the year that will help you make progress towards the things that matter most to you,” she says.
It’s an ethos largely embraced by Canadians with 76 per cent saying “it’s more important today than it was five years ago to set financial goals” for themselves and 61 per cent saying they set goals for themselves.
Seek a Professional Opinion
The poll also pointed to financial advisors as a catalyst to building up confidence in finances.
“Setting up a conversation with an advisor early in 2013 will only require a small time investment, but as we’ve seen in these poll results, the benefits can be significant,” says Kramer.
Meeting with a financial advisor is an important step in guaging your progress and establishing a benchmark – but just under half (46 per cent) or Canadians said they had met with a financial advisor at some point last year.
“You will gain a better understanding of where you stand today,” says Kramer. “Then you can lay out some realistic steps to help achieve your personal financial goals.”
According to the poll, Canadians who met with an advisor were more likely to feel positive about their financial situation today (77 per cent) versus those who had not met with an advisor (65 per cent).
They were also more confident about reaching their future goals (79 per cent versus 70 per cent).
Younger Canadians Are Less Confident
Canadians aged 18-34 saw a fall in confidence surrounding meeting their future goals with only 73 per cent expressing confidence – a five per cent decline from last year.
However, aging Canadians (55-64) climbed seven per cent from last year to 74 per cent feeling confident they will reach their future financial goals.