Spoiled for choice

It’s RRSP Deadline Day. Having trouble deciding on the multitude of investment choices into which you can put your RRSP dollars? You’re not alone. As it turns out, too many choices can be just as bad as too few.


Online only.


Have you ever had the following run through your head:

You: I should get my RRSP money in as soon as I can.

You: Ah, but I’m really not sure where to put the money.

You: Doesn’t matter just get it in.

You: But I kinda hafta decide what I’m gonna buy before I open up the RRSP. Will it be a mutual fund, or a GIC or a segregated fund, or will I buy the index?

You: If you wait to decide, you’ll never put the money in the account.

You: Yah, but I can’t decide, so I’m going to wait.

Could it be that the reason we don’t save is because with so many choices on how to invest we’re stymied? Yes it could.

Sheena S. Iyengar of Columbia University and Mark R. Lepper of Stanford University have found in their research that people are less likely to make a decision when they face too many options.

They set up sampling booths at a grocery store offering some customers 6 choices of jam and other customers 24 jars of jam. While only 40% of passersby stopped at the booth featuring 6 different types of jam, 30% actually bought the product. The larger display drew more tasters: 60%. But here’s the kicker: only 3% actually bought the product.

It seems that having too much choice hampers our ability to make the decision on what to buy.

Hey, if you can’t decide what you should buy with your RRSP dollars, you can always go with a Savings Account option to get the money in before the deadline. Once that decision is out of the way you can then focus on what you’ll invest those dollars in to make them grow.

Just remember to go back and do something with the money. Leaving it sitting is savings may be “easy” but it’s also downright “lazy.” Do some homework and make a plan for making your money work as hard as you do.

112 comments on “Spoiled for choice

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