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While most Canadian investors have target dates for key life events such as marriage, buying a house, having children and retirement, fewer than half feel that their investments are structured to support these milestones, according to a new report.

BMO Financial Group, Toronto, Ont., published this finding in a summary of results from a January online survey of 1,523 Canadians. The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing’s online panel, LegerWeb.

Among the report’s conclusions:

Just under two-thirds (60%) of Canadian investors have time frames or target dates in mind to reach their financial goals.

Eighty-nine per cent agree that it is important to hold investments that evolve over time to become less risky as key life-event dates approach.

Despite this, only 49% believe that their investments become less risky over time.

“One of the basic rules of investing is that your investments should progressively become more conservative as your investment horizon shortens,” says Serge Pépin, Head of Investments, BMO Investments Inc. “This is especially critical during times of market volatility.

“However, as simple as this concept may seem, many of us don’t get around to ensuring that our investments are properly balanced, whether it’s because of lack of time, knowledge or convenience.”