The benefits of financial advice
According to the recent Manulife Canada Retirement Study: Stress, Finances, Well-being1, three-quarters of Canadians say a financial wellness program has, or would have, at least some positive effect on:
- Reducing their financial stress
- Recommending someone to their company
- Increasing the likelihood of staying in their current job1
While many Canadians we surveyed do their own research when it comes to making financial decisions, more than a third said they primarily rely on a financial professional, such as a financial advisor or an accountant.1 There are many benefits—both financial and emotional— to working with a trusted financial professional. Let's look at some of them:
Reducing Financial Stress
The problem: Confusion about our financial situation can be a big source of stress and the pandemic has created additional uncertainty for many people. When we're not sure if we're on track to reach our goals— like saving for a home, paying for a child's education, or being comfortable in retirement—it’s harder to know if we're making the right decisions. And that's stressful. For example, among the Canadians surveyed, a third reported they’re behind or far behind in retirement readiness1, and a quarter do not know when, or if, they'll retire.1
The solution: Of the Canadians surveyed, a majority of those (53%) who worked with a financial advisor said they were optimistic about the year ahead.1 Those who have access to a financial wellness program through their employers were also more likely to have a financial plan1, and to say their financial situation is "very good or excellent".1 The verdict is clear: When it comes to our personal finances, getting trusted advice when we need it most can reduce mental stress and give us the bandwidth to focus on other meaningful areas of life.
Cutting through the clutter
The problem: Today, the average investor has more access to financial news and opinions than ever before. The "always-on" nature of financial media means investors can access breaking news at their fingertips. However, this huge quantity of non-stop information also makes decision-making much harder, especially when there are conflicting points-of-view. The overflow of data causes a common condition called "analysis paralysis" where it becomes very difficult to commit to a decision and a course of action.
The solution: Working with a trusted financial advisor is one of the best ways to reduce the confusion and stress around making important financial decisions. Your advisor understands your priorities and financial goals and can help you navigate the complicated financial landscape without unnecessary stress while keeping you aligned to your goals and values.
Expertise and experience
The problem: According to the Manulife Canada Retirement Study: Stress, Finances, Well-being, over one-third of respondents prefer to manage finances on their own.1 Yet, it's possible they may find themselves out of their depth when facing a significant life change, such as retirement, saving for children's education, or when market cycles shift.
The solution: It's always beneficial for investors to increase their financial know-how but reading the financial news is not a replacement for seeking professional advice. Experienced financial advisors have been investing through various market cycles. They research and manage investments as a full-time job. They offer exceptional expertise and support to help you throughout your life stages. Almost half of Canadians surveyed said a consultation with a financial advisor would have a major impact on financially preparing for retirement.1 To get the most from your relationship with an advisor, it's important to create the partnership on your terms. These include:
- Make sure your advisor understands your desired goals and has a clear plan on how you'll work together to achieve them
- Agree on how often your advisor should check-in with you and in what way (e.g. phone call, meeting, mail)
1 All statistics, charts and data within this document were pulled from the 2021 Manulife Canada Retirement Study: Stress, Finances, Well-being. The 2021 study was commissioned by Manulife Investment Management and John Hancock Retirement and conducted by Greenwald & Associates. Manulife Investment Management is not affiliated with Greenwald & Associates and is not responsible for the liabilities of the other. The online bilingual survey of 1,002 plan members drawn from a panel of everyday Canadians was conducted from August 25th through September 4th, 2021.