A Sudden Financial Windfall: Blessing or Burden?

Scot McLeod - Oct 12, 2018


A windfall can be defined as the unexpected or unplanned acquisition of financial assets that alters the recipient's financial position. This can be a welcome surprise, but the pressure of managing and dealing with a significant amount of money can also be an unforeseen burden.

There are many ways to get a windfall. Winning the lottery is the most obvious event that comes to mind, but this accounts for a very small percentage of individuals who have experienced a financial windfall. For most, however, the most likely sources of significant and abrupt gains of money are an inheritance, a settlement due to divorce or injury, the sale of a business, or an insurance payout.

BMO Wealth Management commissioned a survey to gain insight on how North Americans aged 35 and over would act and feel if they suddenly became wealthy. The results of the survey were analyzed, and accompanying advice provided in the new BMO Wealth Insight – A sudden windfall. A blessing, not a burden.

Download the full report

Download the infographic