Canada Life explores behavioural bias on long-term thinking

Canada Life has launched a campaign to equip advisers with the latest thinking around how clients view their long-term futures. Research1 undertaken as a part of the ‘Long-Term Close Up’ campaign identifies a clear opportunity for advisers and providers to drive consistently better long-term outcomes, by considering the behavioural biases that influence long-term financial planning.


Lara Bealing, Marketing Director, Canada Life UK, comments: “We all know that having a longer-term approach to financial planning opens the doors to a smoother path through life, regardless of how varied that journey may be. We’ve launched this campaign to bring fresh insight and expertise into the debate. Helping us all to learn about what really motivates clients by exploring behavioural biases, enabling us to better support them.”


The foundational research for the ‘Long-Term Close Up’ campaign encompasses a qualitative online consumer community conducted for seven days with 24 consumers, 15 interviews with industry experts and an online survey of 3,000 consumers. In addition, psychological exploration of long-term thinking has been conducted by Dr Simon Moore and his team of psychologists at Innovation Bubble.


The research shows that retirement planning (46%) is the focus of long-term thinking for many individuals when it comes to working with their adviser, but there are other key life events that benefit from having a longer-term perspective to effectively plan for them. Younger generations in particular find it a struggle to think ahead to retirement, revealing a need to help them stretch their long-term approach by focusing on their more imminent goals and life moments. 


Only 14% of advised consumers say they have shared their life goals with their adviser, highlighting an opportunity for advisers to focus more on milestones to drive long-term financial planning. And when it comes to the ultimate long-term financial aspiration the significant majority of consumers (79%) see providing financial security for their family as an important part of their legacy, showing that the strength of feeling around long-term finances stretches beyond their own mortality and into the next generation.


Lara Bealing continued: “As the lives of the clients we serve become increasingly varied and unpredictable, their financial planning needs are evolving too. The linear path of work, save and retire does not apply to everyone and the next generation of clients’ lives will look very different. Assessing the deep needs and motivations of clients will help us to be the best partner to building the financial solutions they need at every stage of their lives. Ultimately our aim with this campaign is to explore and learn now, to better equip the industry to support these clients for the future.”


The Canada Life Long-Term Close Up campaign will continue to explore key themes, trends and psychological biases that influence long-term thinking throughout 2022.


Further details on the campaign can be found here:


  1. The research was conducted in partnership with Savanta and encompassed three phases: a) A consumer online qualitative community conducted for seven  days in June with 24 consumers. Each day different topics were covered via written commentary, videos and polling, along with some group discussions. b) 15 interviews with industry experts (advisers, investment banks and institutional pension decision makers) between the 5th & 30th June. Each interview lasted between 45-60 minutes. c) An online survey of 3000 consumers running from 27th July to 12th 
  2. The psychological exploration of long-term thinking has been conducted by Dr Simon Moore and his team of psychologists at Innovation Bubble.