Friday, November 23, 2007

A fear of the unknown - stop avoiding your personal finances

A fear of the unknown - stop avoiding your personal finances

(NC)-Given the choice, would you rather visit a dentist or a financial planner?

According to a study conducted by BMO Mutual Funds, half of Canadians surveyed would rather visit the dentist, even though roughly the same number have never even met with a financial planner.

"When it comes to our personal finances, Canadians have generally taken the avoidance route - it's like a fear of the unknown," says Linda Knight, Chief Operating Officer, BMO Mutual Funds. "Our studies show that we spend more time planning for home renovations and exercising than planning our retirement. But in reality, taking control of our finances today can lead to big rewards down the road."

To help Canadians get over their fear, Knight dispels the common myths that keep people out of the financial planner's office:

1. You have to be wealthy to meet with a financial planner

Regardless of your take-home pay, it's never too early to start investing your hard-earned money. In fact, once you start earning a regular pay cheque - regardless of the amount - you should meet with a financial planner to discuss investment options. Best of all, you can meet with an investment professional at no charge at any BMO Bank of Montreal branch.

2. You have to know the difference between a mutual fund and a GIC

Don't let your fear that you're not financially savvy prevent you from seeking advice. A good financial planner will act as a guide, informing you of your options and answering your questions.

3. You're in debt and you're going to be lectured about poor financial management

The first thing to know is that you are not alone. However, if you do have debt, it's important to address it now to manage the impact it can have on your future. Whether your plans for the next five years include buying a house or starting your retirement, a financial planner can help you develop a strategy to lower your debt and help achieve your goals without completely compromising your lifestyle.

"Canadians need to face their fear head-on and take control of their finances sooner rather than later," says Knight. "Once they start on the road towards managing their finances they'll see that it's not so intimidating after all." Credit:

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