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Human vs machine: CIBC poll finds most Canadians value personal advice over a search engine


TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2020 /CNW/ - Despite technology making it easier than ever to access information, a recent CIBC poll shows that when it comes to major life events, such as getting married, buying a home, or finding a job, many respondents (63 per cent) prefer to ask their friends and family for advice. This is most prevalent amongst younger Canadians, with 78 per cent of those aged 18-34 leaning on people close to them when making important decisions.


Human vs machine: CIBC poll finds most Canadians value personal advice over a search engine (CNW Group/CIBC)

When it comes to financial advice, 46 per cent of Canadians prefer to ask an advisor through their financial institution and 36 per cent turn to family and friends. Only 20 per cent of respondents prefer to go online.

"The internet may be a portal to vast amounts of information, but big decisions are personal. When there are choices in front of you, whether it's career moves or retirement planning, Canadians value the word of a person they trust," said Kathleen Woodard, Senior Vice President, CIBC Personal and Small Business Banking. "Similar to a family member or a close friend, a financial advisor takes on a role where they understand your needs, treat your goals as their own and provide advice to make your ambitions a reality."

Those who rely on a financial advisor seem to have greater confidence and knowledge about their money matters. Top reasons include feeling an advisor delivers the best financial advice (50 per cent), more comfort making financial decisions with the help of an expert (49 per cent) and a better understanding of how investments fit into overall financial health (35 per cent).

Additionally, Canadians who experienced key life events in the past year feel their advisor provided sound advice when they made large purchases (53 per cent), paid off or consolidated debt  (57 per cent), embarked on retirement planning (50 per cent) and conducted wills and estate planning (50 per cent).

The survey also found that most Canadians don't turn to the web for money management or financial information. More than three-quarters say they have never used an online service that manages investments (robo-advisor), with 20 per cent unaware of these services altogether. Many (65 per cent) claim they do not use online search engines for questions about common financial products or matters.

Key poll findings:

  • Many Canadians (63 per cent) turn to friends and family for advice on major life events, with those aged 18-34 ranking this the highest at 78 per cent, followed by 64 per cent aged 35-54 and 52 per cent of those over 55
  • Most respondents would rather speak to another person versus relying on information from the web alone when seeking financial advice (70 per cent), making restaurant or travel plans (66 per cent) and when signing up for a product or service online (60 per cent)
  • While 46 per cent of Canadians turn to a financial advisor for money related matters, 57 per cent of those aged 18-34 say they turn to friends and family for help in this area
  • More than 65 per cent of respondents say they do not use online search engines when they have questions about common financial products or matters, including GICs, mutual funds, RRSPs, TFSAs, real estate and retirement planning
  • Canadians are most likely to seek financial advice for the following events: when planning for retirement (40 per cent); general investment planning (30 per cent); wills or estate planning (27 per cent); and planning for a home purchase (26 per cent)


About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Small Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing  news releases  and more information about CIBC can be found at .


From December 13th to December 17th 2019 an online survey of 3,033 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue . For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 1.6%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CNW Group/CIBC)


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