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BMO Harris Financial Advisors Study: Financial Goals Will Account for More Than One-Third of All New Year's Resolutions

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwired - Dec 19, 2013) - BMO Harris Financial Advisors Study: Financial Goals Will Account for More Than One-Third of All New Year's Resolutions

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed in Wisconsin will be making a 2014 New Year's resolution by December 31st
  • Majority who have made financial resolutions in the past have seen them through
  • Forty percent of Wisconsin respondents currently have a financial plan

According to a study issued today by BMO Harris Financial Advisors, sixty-five percent of Wisconsinites will be making at least one New Year's resolution for 2014. Further, 36 percent of all resolutions made by midnight on December 31st in the state will be related to personal finances. 

In fact, financial New Year's resolutions trailed only health and fitness resolutions (39 percent) and were ahead of:

  • Personal (learn a new skill, read more, etc.) - 24 percent
  • Career (work more/less, get a promotion, etc.) - 13 percent
  • Love life (start dating, get married, etc.) - 10 percent

Thirty-five percent of respondents in the state reported that they would not be making a New Year's resolution for 2014.

"It's a positive sign that so many in Wisconsin will be setting financial goals for themselves in 2014," said Dean Urbanski, Vice President and National Sales Manager, BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc., a part of BMO Financial Group. "However, it's important to note that the chances of actually achieving resolutions related to finances increase significantly if you have a financial plan." 

A financial plan helps people work towards their short and long-term goals lik e 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.

Wisconsinites and Financial Plans

The study found that 40 percent of those surveyed living in the state currently have a financial plan. Of this group:

  • Seventy-eight percent are confident that their financial plan will help them achieve their goals.
  • Seventy-four percent reported that it has helped them achieve their goals in the past.
  • Eighty-three percent wish they would have created a financial plan sooner (compared to 61 percent nationally).

Of those Wisconsinites 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 (40 percent)
  • Never thought of doing a financial plan (30 percent)
  • It is not a priority (25 percent)
  • Personal financial situation too volatile (24 percent)

"A financial plan can be helpful to anyone seeking to reach their personal finance goals and isn't tied to the size of one's income or your current financial situation," added Urbanski. "The key is to i dentify what really matters and to work with a financial advisor who can build a plan to help you get there." 

Key National Findings:

  • Sixty-eight percent of those Americans surveyed will be making a New Year's resolution for 2014.
  • Setting goals related to personal finances will account for 28 per cent of all resolutions made; other areas include health and finances (39 percent), personal goals (27 percent), love life (16 percent) and career (16 percent). 
  • Fifty-three percent who have made financial New Year's resolutions in the past have kept them -- with women being better than men at seeing them through (57 vs. 46 percent).
  • Forty percent of those Americans surveyed have a financial plan.
  • Eight-five percent of those with a financial plan feel that it has helped them achieve their goals.
  • The top reason identified for not having a financial plan is "do not have enough money to justify having one" (39 percent).

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

BMO Harris Financial AdvisorsSM 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 compani es. 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 (including 100 Wisconsin residents), between November 20th and November 26th, 2013. A probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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Media Contacts:
Patrick O'Herlihy