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Financial Health of Canadians Major Cause of Stress Canadian Youth Advised To Start Planning Now


In its sixth year, Financial Planning Week (November 16-22) promotes financial planning as fundamental to the financial wellbeing of Canadians.

"One of the main causes of stress in Canadians is financial health (according to the 2014 Sun Life Financial Health Index). The popularity of Ashton College's Financial Services programs is testament to more and more Canadians wanting to take charge of their finances by seeking sound advice from a qualified professional" says Colin Fortes, President of Ashton College.

"Time is an investor's best friend: the earlier you get started, the more comfortable you'll be come retirement. That's why I encourage all young Canadians to address their financial health early, in any way they can, to better prepare for the many challenges they'll face later in life."

Alex Chan, Certified Financial Planner at IDC Worldsource uses the following analogy for young people looking to get their financial health in order: "Start small and get into the habit of saving. For example, if you go to Starbucks twice a day, that's $10 a day, $300 a month. If from 25 years of age you save $300 a month and get a decent rate of return for 10 years, you could be a millionaire by the time you retire."

Certified Financial Planner Becky Wong has been an instructor at Ashton College for more than a decade. Becky advises: "Start working with a Financial Planner as early as possible. Parents, give your 18 year old a head start by introducing them to your Financial Planner. Your child may not have much money yet, but a planner can help them set good financial habits for the future."

With more than 17,500 Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) across Canada, Becky recommends interviewing them first. "When researching, find the right CFP for you. Ask them how many years of experience they have, what area they specialize in (tax, estate planning, retirement etc.), and what their typical clients look like. Also find out if the CFP will work with a minimal asset size. Some CFPs will only work with you if you have a minimum worth of say $200,000."

Chan, who holds five professional designations (including two from Ashton College) adds: "Do a background search on the advisor and the firm. Ask what kind of financial plan they have in place themselves and how they are saving for their own retirement. Get them to provide references from other long-term clients. Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) website offers a search function to find local Certified Financial Planners. Another great way to find an advisor is through a recommendation, so ask around."

Chan says of his 25 years of experience in the finance industry: "There are constant changes with tax regulations, products, companies, fund managers and so on. But the one thing that has stayed exactly the same all along is people's goals. People want to financially protect themselves and their families, pay off debt and save for retirement."

To find out more about Ashton College's Financial Services programs, including the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) program, visit: or call Irene Dual, Communications Manager on 604-899-0803 ext. 123 or at

About Ashton:
Since 1998, Ashton College has delivered comprehensive career and continuing education for both domestic and international students. From its inauguration into the competitive world of educational institutions, Ashton has flourished into a respected college. Embracing innovation and taking the lead in discovering new ways to learn, students graduate from Ashton with an entrepreneurial spirit and are prepared for today’s global economy.

At Ashton, students think big and follow their dream.

Partnered with top industry organizations, Ashton’s goal is to help people reach their full potential by providing an education that’s meaningful and relevant in today’s highly competitive world. Ashton delivers programs in Business Administration, Accounting & Bookkeeping, Financial Services, International Trade, Immigration Consulting, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources and Business English Communication.

If you would like more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Irene Dual at +1 (604) 899-0803 extension 123, or email