Industry professionals can help worried buyers

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A recent report points to the increasing need for brokers to provide the type of financial advice many already pride themselves on offering.

Canadian Millennial and Gen-Xers are less confident about achieving their financial goals than they were at the beginning of the year, according to a recent report by CIBC.

"We had a very gloomy start to 2016, with a reeling loonie and a soft economy and jobs market, and much of that sentiment continues to weigh on confidence," Sarah Widmeyer, managing director and dead of Wealth Strategies Group at CIBC, said in the report. "Our poll also reveals the stress of everyday life for Millennials and Gen-Xers - going to school, working, paying your household bills, trying to save for a house, or taking care of your family. Combined with a string of gloomy economic news no wonder this cohort is feeling less certain they'll achieve their financial goals."

According to the report, 72% of Millenials and 66% of Generation-Xers admit they will be able to achieve their financial goals within the next year. Both those figures represent a 12% drop from just six months ago.

Overall, 73% of those polled are confident they will achieve their financial goals in the next year.

The study also found a drastic drop in confidence among Ontarians, with 68% feeling confident – down from 80% six months ago.

CIBC suggested setting goals to help achieve financial health.

"While macro events, like Brexit, can spark fear and gloom in the markets, these are things beyond our control," Widmeyer said. "What you can control is your personal finances and how you manage them. The key is to set and prioritize realistic short- and long-term goals, and take concrete steps each month to achieve them. When you have the right plan, then periodic market noise becomes just that, noise, that really shouldn't change your financial priorities."

But it obviously takes work to set those financial priorities. And while many may turn to financial advisors for help and advice, brokers are increasingly viewing themselves as provider of financial advice as well.

The bank suggested Canadians reach out to professionals, who can help them feel more optimistic about their individual financial situations.

"When you feel negative about the status of your finances, you should sit down and talk to someone who can help you assess your situation, give advice and boost your confidence," Widmeyer said. "There's always something that can be done."
 

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