Research & Resources
Helping clients achieve the best possible outcomes

As financial planning practice continues to evolve, independent, unbiased research arms planners with practical techniques that they can implement to help clients achieve the best possible outcomes.


Explore this page to access full research reports, research summaries and practice notes that you can use to apply key research findings in your own business.

Financial Planning & Psychology

The FP Canada Research Foundation has funded a study that aims to understand the psychological processes involved in seeking financial planning advice and the barriers that might prevent or disrupt consumers' attempts to get help. Identifying and Removing the Psychological and Information Barriers to Financial Advice is being undertaken by Queen's University, under the leadership of Dr. Lynnette Purda, Associate Professor and RBC Fellow of Finance at Smith School of Business, and Dr. Laurence Ashworth, Associate Professor of Marketing.

The first phase of the research will identify barriers and examine how they affect consumers' likelihood to seek financial planning advice. The second phase will identify possible impacts of online techniques and tools on consumers' inclination to seek financial planning help and how they might be leveraged to reduce existing barriers.


Research in Progress
Timing Decisions for CPP/QPP Benefits (December 2020)

The FP Canada Research Foundation has funded a study to investigate why the majority of Canadians take CPP and QPP benefits at 65 or earlier, when in many cases they should wait until age 70. Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald at Ryerson University's National Institute on Ageing led the study. This research provides valuable insights to help planners better guide their clients to making the best possible choices when planning for retirement.


Research Paper

The Implementation Gap

The FP Canada Research Foundation has funded a study that seeks to uncover barriers to the implementation of financial plans delivered to Canadians by professional financial planners. Many financial planners note that their clients do not always take action on the plans they deliver and discuss with their clients. This is referred as the Implementation Gap—the gap between advice provided and action taken by the client.

The project has been conducted by BEworks, a management consulting firm dedicated to the practice of applying behavioural science to solve industry challenges. The goal of the research is to provide strategies for closing the Implementation Gap to improve client outcomes.


Understanding the Importance of Risk for Financial Planning (March 2018)

This study, conducted by Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald of Ryerson University, explored the sources of risk in retirement planning, how these should be addressed and the degree to which individuals can improve financial outcomes by adjusting factors they can control.


Understanding Your Own Financial Wellness (Updated in 2020)

This study, conducted by CPA Canada help Canadians assess, articulate and ultimately improve their degree of financial wellness. The study showed that by framing their view of financial wellness and what it means to them, Canadians can better identify gaps between their current and desired state of well-being and more effectively communicate with the financial planners who can help them reach their goals.

Based on the Financial Wellness Study and with the financial support of the FP Canada Research Foundation, CPA Canada developed the Financial Wellness Guide, an interactive questionnaire that helps Canadians understand money basics and how to apply learnings to improve their own lives.



Predicting a Person’s Likelihood to Seek Professional Financial Help – Financial Stress & Self-Efficacy (2016)

This study, conducted by researchers Jodi Letkiewicz, Chris Robinson and Dale Domian of York University, examined the behavioural aspects of financial planning. The researchers focused specifically on two behavioural experiences or traits—financial stress and self-efficacy (the belief in one’s own ability to succeed)—and analyzed how both traits predict a person’s likelihood to seek professional financial help. Planners can apply the findings of this research to increase the likelihood that clients will both seek your professional financial planning advice and implement that advice.