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Dale Jackson

Your Personal Investor

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Have you ever wished a financial decision could be a “do-over?”

If the answer is yes, you’re far from alone. A recent survey from Edward Jones found most Canadians have at least one financial regret.

Oddly enough, the survey found older people are more likely to have too few to mention. 82 per cent of respondents under 45 years old had financial regrets, while only 61 per cent of respondents over 65 regretted at least one decision.

Not surprising, those regrets focused on saving and debt. 56 per cent under 45 wished they had saved more for long-term goals compared with 47 per cent for those over 65.

Thirty per cent under 45 wished they had paid off debt faster compared with 47 per cent of seniors.

Finally, 30 per cent of younger people wished they would have built an emergency fund compared with 22 per cent of seniors.

Edward Jones offers some tips for younger people to avoid financial regrets:

Build a budget: calculate your monthly fixed costs and prioritize your goals for the next five, 10, 25 years and beyond. Do you want to travel, buy a house, or retire at 60? Maybe you want to do all three.

Pay yourself first: plan for a certain amount of money to go into your savings each month. Pay off your debt first, and then start to build your emergency and long-term goals funds. If you are just starting to work, begin saving by putting $50 a month into savings and increase that amount as you build your career.

Build, review, and rebalance your savings: meet with an advisor to determine the best saving vehicles for you. Depending on your goals, an advisor will recommend a strategy that is tailored to your risk tolerance.

Be patient: investing is a long-term process. It generally takes decades of patience, perseverance, and good decisions for investors to save enough for their long-term goals.