Interestingly, spouses with very different—even opposite—investment personalities may quite easily develop an investment program that’s just right for the couple. Yet, in some cases, partners who view investing the same way may need to proceed with caution.


Take the case of a conservative investor and an aggressive investor who share a non-registered account to save for retirement. With their advisor’s guidance, they allocate equities and fixed-income investments to strike a compromise between each spouse’s risk tolerance. The conservative investor benefits from potential market opportunities and the more aggressive investor is restrained from placing retirement savings at undue risk.

If one or both spouses aren’t comfortable with compromising, it can still work out—simply by investing independently. Say that one spouse invests conservatively in their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and the other focuses on more aggressive RRSP investments. As a couple, their approaches can balance out, combining wealth preservation with long-term growth potential.


An ideal situation is when spouses have a similar investment approach, with risk tolerances that are not extreme. However, if both spouses are highly aggressive investors, they should recognize they may need to temper their approach in light of the couple’s investment objectives and time horizon. If both spouses are ultra-conservative investors, the couple must understand they likely have to save and invest more to meet their financial goals.

Talk to us if risk tolerance ever becomes an issue between you and your spouse, and we’ll develop a resolution that suits you both.

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