Integrating Behavioural Science Principles in the Training Curriculum for 20 000+ Financial Planners in Canada

Case Study

Context

North American households show an increasing pattern of unsustainable financial habits. Higher property prices have made borrowing a normality and this, in turn, has normalized retail-led debt, creating  a culture-shift toward risk-aversion in investing despite risk-seeking in borrowing. In an effort to shift these trends here in Canada, The Decision Lab was approached by FP Canada to create a curriculum for all 20 000+ financial planners in Canada. The curriculum applies new skills in the principles of human behaviour to address cognitive biases and heuristics in financial planning interactions and ultimately improve financial decision-making outcomes for clients.

Project

The focus of this project was to develop a training curriculum for 20 000+ financial planners in Canada. The curricula applies new skills in the principles of human behaviour to address cognitive biases and heuristics in financial planning interactions to improve financial decision-making outcomes for clients.

Approach

Our approach focused on creating an educational experience for the planners that not only taught them how to better understand and shift their clients’ decisions but provided them with introspective guidance on their own behaviors with clients. We focused on several high-level target behaviors and identified the strongest sources of behavioral science applications that could shift behaviors in these contexts. The end results was a curriculum that all financial planners in Canada will need to study in order to become certified financial planners (CFPs).

Impact

  • 20 000 Canadian Financial Planners will receive our behavioural science-informed curriculum. 
  • 10M Canadians use financial service professionals
  • 39% of Canadians are unsure about their long-term financial goals
  • Our research showed that about 60% of this lack of planning relates directly to behavioural issues

Our intervention can directly affect the financial health of over 2.34M (60% of the 3.9M without plans) Canadians