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Canadians Cite Money Worries as Greatest Source of Stress

Toronto, ON – November 13, 2014 – A national survey conducted on behalf of  Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) has found that money is the leading source of stress among Canadians, significantly more than work, personal health and relationships. According to the survey, financial stress is driving Canadians to lose sleep, reconsider past financial decisions, argue with partners and lie to family and friends about personal finances.

FPSC, Canada’s standards-setting and certification body for professional standards in financial planning, is releasing its findings in conjunction with the sixth annual Financial Planning Week this November 16-22.  One of the primary goals of Financial Planning Week is to raise awareness of the importance of financial planning in the lives of Canadians.

“FPSC wants Canadians to know that engaging in financial planning with a qualified professional can help enhance both their financial and emotional well-being,” said Cary List, President and CEO, Financial Planning Standards Council.” “We urge everyone to source  a CFP professional on our Find a Planner tool at and discuss their situation, goals and financial needs.”

Survey results show that Canadians’ experience with financial stress varies depending on age, gender and openness to discussing personal finance issues. The following are key findings among respondents across the country (excluding Quebecers):  

  • Significant numbers of men and women lose sleep over financial worries (51 per cent of women; 40 per cent of men).
  • Almost half (45 per cent) of Canadians are embarrassed about their lack of control over finances.
  • Millennials are more likely than any other generation to lie about personal finances. Thirty three per cent admit they've been dishonest with friends, 25 per cent with family and 15 per cent with coworkers (compared to national averages of 17 per cent, 14 per cent and 9 per cent respectively).
  • Eighty seven per cent of Canadians wish they had made better financial decisions earlier in life.
  • 4 in 10 people in relationships with shared finances argue regularly over finances.
  • One-third of Canadians believe that on average their friends are in better financial shape than they are.

A three-year longitudinal study of almost 15,000 Canadians, conducted by The Strategic Council on behalf of FPSC, set out to understand the correlation between emotional, tangible and quantifiable well-being and participation in the financial planning process with a qualified professional can have on Canadians’ lives. 

The results were consistent: those who engage in financial planning with a Certified Financial Planner® professional report significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being when compared to those who do no or limited planning. They feel their financial goals and retirement plans are more on track; their ability to save has improved; they are more confident they can handle the inevitable bumps in life; and they report having enough money for splurges, vacations and living the life they want.

It’s time we talked about it.

Highlights from the survey on financial stress are available at: The survey was conducted by Leger and included more than 1,000 Canadians (excluding Quebec) between September 26 and October 1, 2014. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Details from the three-year longitudinal study on the value of financial planning can be found here: Surveys were conducted from August 2009 – August 2012. The research surveys the general English-speaking population in Canada (excluding Quebec). The results listed are from the third year of research, conducted from April – August 2012.

About Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) is a not-for-profit organization which develops, promotes and enforces professional standards in financial planning through Certified Financial Planner® certification. FPSC’s purpose is to instill confidence in the financial planning profession. As a standards-setting and certification body, FPSC ensures CFP® professionals and FPSC Level 1 Certificants in Financial Planning meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. More information is at

About CFP certification

CFP certification, long considered the standard in financial planning, provides assurance to Canadians that their financial planner has the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and ethics for professional financial planning. There are approximately 17,000 CFP professionals across Canada, part of a global community of over 150,000 worldwide. CFP professionals demonstrate their financial planning competence through extensive education; a rigorous, comprehensive national examination process; continuous professional development requirements; and accountability to FPSC for ethical conduct, standards of practice and competence. More information is at

Media Inquiries:

Alex Mangiola
Pilot PMR

Caroline Horcher
Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC)
416.593.8587 x232 or