National Leadership in Research

The Financial Planning Foundation's funding priorities include the development and dissemination of two types of research:

  • Research (technical and behavioural) that serves to enhance the practice of financial planning delivered to Canadians
  • Research that reflects the impact of financial planning on society
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Research News

Understanding Your Own Financial Wellness

The Foundation conducted the Financial Wellness Study, in partnership with CPA Canada, to 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 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 Foundation, CPA Canada developed the Financial Wellness Guide, an interactive questionnaire that helps Canadians understand money basics and how to apply learnings in their own lives.

You may access the Financial Wellness Guide here.


On February 19-21, 2019, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, in collaboration with Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. will host the Annual Academic Research Colloquium in Financial Planning and Related Disciplines in Arlington, Virginia. This global meeting of academics is uniquely focused on the innovative research that is vital for the rapidly evolving financial planning profession and meeting the increasingly complex needs of Canadians.

Event information-including speakers and sessions- is available here.

2019 Acdemic Research Colloguium

The deadline to submit abstracts for research presentations has now passed.Additional details may be found here.

Research Is Critical

Canada has a key role to play in developing research that helps financial planners serve clients' increasingly complex needs, says FPSC President and CEO and FP Foundation Secretary and Treasurer Cary List in an article in Investment Executive. Find out what is happening in international studies and how research can help financial planning be recognized as the profession it needs to be.

Read the full article here.

Cary List, FPC

Recent Research & Studies

Understanding the Importance of Risk for Financial Planning

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

You may read the research paper here.

Studies Currently Underway

Financial Planning and Psychology

The FP 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 Online Investment Advice will be 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 type of financial advice sought (financial planners vs. robo-advisors) and the accuracy of the financial information they provide. The second phase will identify possible impacts of online financial planning collaboration tools on consumers' inclination to seek financial planning help and how they might be leveraged to reduce existing barriers.

Using Behavioral Insights to Improve the Delivery of Financial Planning

How can behavioural economics help enhance planners' engagement with their clients and close the "implementation gap" between advice and action? Researchers at the University of Toronto's Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) centre will explore this important question with Using Behavioural Insights to Improve the Delivery of Financial Planning: A Critical Review and Recommendations, an upcoming study funded by the FP Foundation.

Under the leadership of Dr. Dilip Soman, Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of BEAR, researchers will:

  • Identify key behavioural frictions underlying consumer decision-making that may lead to the "implementation gap";
  • Present a theory of consumer decision-making based on a review of behavioural economics and related fields;
  • Review and summarize existing financial planning literature and identify evidence-based best practices;
  • Conduct primary research, including in-depth interviews and round-table discussions with financial planners and industry experts; and
  • Present a series of recommendations and innovations that can enhance the way financial planners engage with clients.


The Foundation has also invested in the following research projects: