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CIBC Poll: More than half of Canadians have struggled with financial decisions

1 in 2 Canadians feel personal finances are more complicated now than they were 20 years ago; two-thirds say they could use more knowledge or advice

TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2015 /CNW/ - A new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll finds that more than half of Canadians (53 per cent) feel managing their personal finances is more complicated today than it was 20 years ago, and a similar amount (52 per cent) say they have struggled with making a financial decision at one time or another.

"Organizing personal finances, optimizing savings and managing investments can be challenging for anyone at the best of times," says Christina Kramer, Executive Vice President, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. "As personal finances have become increasingly complex with greater choice available in the market and more and more information driven through technology, it's not surprising that Canadians are feeling overwhelmed."

The poll also found that while three-quarters (75 per cent) of Canadians say they are confident when it comes to their overall level of financial knowledge, two-thirds (66 per cent) still feel they could benefit from additional financial knowledge or advice.  Despite this, less than four-in-ten Canadians (38 per cent) plan to see a financial advisor this year.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 53 per cent feel it is more complicated now to make financial decisions than 20 years ago
  • 52 per cent of Canadians say they have struggled with making financial decisions because they lacked knowledge
  • 66 per cent say they could benefit from additional financial advice/knowledge
  • 38 per cent of Canadians are planning to meet with a financial advisor this year; 46 per cent are not

"With the RRSP deadline approaching, some Canadians may be wrestling with decisions about how much and where to invest their money," says Ms. Kramer. "Canadians don't have to struggle with their financial decisions on their own; help is as close as the nearest CIBC branch where one of our experienced advisors can help explain the options that are best for them."

Don't underestimate the value of good advice

Despite two-thirds (66 per cent) of Canadians saying they could benefit from additional knowledge or advice and one-in-four (25 per cent) saying they lack confidence in their overall level of financial knowledge, the poll revealed that nearly half of Canadians (46 per cent) are not planning to see a financial advisor in the next year.

"While the majority of Canadians generally feel confident about their overall financial knowledge, they may want to seek advice when making certain financial decision that occur less frequently, such as renewing a mortgage, or determining where to invest an inheritance," says Ms. Kramer.  "Having a quick conversation with an expert can help demystify the possibilities and ensure that you are making the best decisions to meet your personal financial goals and objectives.

Take advantage of online resources

For the 52 per cent of Canadians who have grappled with financial decisions, or anyone looking to beef up their financial knowledge, CIBC provides a number of helpful financial resources online through our Advice Centre. In less than five minutes, you can complete the CIBC Financial HealthCheck™ by answering a few simple questions and receive personalized advice based on your own financial goals, money management tips and access to an advisor.

"Online resources and tools like the Financial HealthCheck™ are great for busy Canadians who want to stay on top of their finances and are looking for answers to their questions from the convenience of their own home," says Ms. Kramer. "It is also a great way to monitor progress on your financial plan in between visits with your advisor."


Percentage of Canadians who have ever struggled with making a financial decision because they felt they lacked knowledge:

Yes 52%
No 40%
Don't know   9%


Percentage of Canadians who feel it is more complicated now to manage their personal finances than it was 20 years ago:

Yes 53%
No 32%
Don't know   15%


Percentage of Canadians who would benefit from additional knowledge/advice when it comes to making financial decisions:

Yes 66%
No 19%
Don't know   15%


Percentage of Canadians confident in their overall level of financial knowledge:

Very confident 14%
Somewhat confident 61%
Not very confident 23%
Not at all confident   2%


Percentage of Canadians planning to see a financial advisor this year:

Yes 38%
No 46%
Don't know   16%


From January 16th to 17th 2015, an online survey was conducted among 1,510 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at


For further information:

Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications, 416-784-6699 or