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BMO Harris Financial Advisors Study: Sixty-Eight Percent of Americans Surveyed Will Be Making a New Year's Resolution for 2014

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 12/27/13 --

  • Almost 30 percent of all resolutions made will be related to personal finances
  • More than half who have made financial resolutions in the past have kept them
  • Forty percent of those surveyed have a financial plan; 85 percent of them feel their plan has helped them achieve their financial goals

BMO Harris Financial Advisors released a study which found that sixty-eight percent of those Americans surveyed plan to make a New Year's resolution for 2014 before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, and setting goals related to personal finances will account for almost 30 percent of all resolutions made. The study also found that 53 percent of those who have made financial resolutions in the past have kept them, with women outpolling men 57 percent to 46 percent.

2014 New Year's resolutions related to personal finances (28 percent) rank second only to health and fitness (39 percent), and are ahead of:

  • Personal (learn a new skill, read more, etc.) - 27 percent
  • Love life (start dating, get married, etc.) - 16 percent
  • Career (work more/less, get a promotion, etc.) - 16 percent

"Your finances have an impact on so many areas of your life, so it's not surprising that they figure so prominently when identifying goals for next year," said Michael Miroballi, President & COO, BMO Harris Financial Advisors. "For those considering making New Year's resolutions involving dollars and cents, the chances of actually achieving your financial goals increase significantly if you take the time to create a financial plan. For example, if you want to get in shape or lose weight, you need to create a plan that will most likely include an exercise schedule and a diet regime. The same holds true for your financial objectives -- it all starts with a plan."

Mr. Miroballi noted that a financial plan helps people work towards their short and long-term goals like the purchase of a new home, saving for a child's education or investing for retirement. It provides a roadmap that outlines the path from where they are today to where they want to be in the future. At BMO Harris Financial Advisors, the process begins with a financial advisor reviewing a person's finances -- including assets, liabilities, income, spending habits and investments -- then building a personalized plan that takes these items and risk tolerance into account and fits with the rest of his/her life.

Americans and Financial Plans

The study found that 40 percent of those Americans surveyed currently have a financial plan. Of this group:

  • Sixty-eight percent review their plan more than once a year.
  • Sixty-one percent wish they would have created a plan sooner.
  • Eighty-five percent say it has helped them achieve their financial goals.

Of those who do not currently have a financial plan, the most commonly cited reasons include:

  • Do not have enough money to justify having a financial plan (39 percent)
  • Never thought of doing a financial plan (30 percent)
  • Do not know where to start (17 percent)
  • Personal financial situation too volatile (17 percent)

Mr. Miroballi concluded, "Anyone can benefit from having a financial plan. It doesn't matter how much money you have or your current life stage as long as you can identify what really matters to you and work with a financial advisor to build a plan that works for your particular situation."

About BMO Harris Financial Advisors
BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc., offers a comprehensive range of investment advisory products that include financial planning strategies and estate planning strategies to meet the financial needs of high-net-worth clients. Offices are located throughout the U.S. Learn more at www.bmoharris.com/financialadvisors.

BMO Harris Financial Advisors(SM) is a trade name of BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc. Securities, investment advisory services and insurance products are offered through BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. SEC-registered investment adviser. BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc. and BMO Harris Bank N.A. are affiliated companies. Securities and insurance products offered are: NOT A DEPOSIT - NOT INSURED BY THE FDIC OR ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY - NOT GUARANTEED BY ANY BANK - MAY LOSE VALUE.

Estate planning requires legal assistance which BMO Harris Bank and its affiliates do not provide. Please consult with your legal advisor.

The survey was conducted by Pollara with an online sample of 1,001 Americans 18 years of age and over, between November 20th and November 26th, 2013. A probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Media Contacts:
Patrick O'Herlihy
patrick.o'herlihy@bmo.com
312-461-6970

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