Current essay represents a critical evaluation of the statistical research and data used in journal article and devoted to the problem of financial plan used by Ontarians for their retirement.
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The first part of essay represents the analysis of article date through the prism of statistical concepts and methods learned during this course. It also includes possible extension of statistical data to other similar cases and making own contribution to the abovementioned problem. Following this the article is compared with original statistical research on which it is based in the view of finding similarities, types of intertextual communication and difference with a particular emphasis on such issues as populations researched, statistical techniques used, sampling methods, theories and their utilization in the article, measurement issues, standard deviations and errors etc.
The second part of the current essay is critical evaluation of the article and original research with a particular insight into the issues of sponsorship, present biases, tactics of interpretation, possible impact on shaping social and personal experience and some other crucial issues. We hope that current research will prove helpful for all interested in this particular topic.
The analyzed article can be characterized by an extensive utilization of Ipsos Reid poll which was conducted on the behalf of Investor Education Fund. There is no denying the importance of the fact that many types of statistical procedures were utilized in this particular article though based on Ipsos Reid poll statistical material. The main purpose of article under discussion was to assess various qualitative and statistical characteristic of Ontarians financial planning for their daily activities and for the retirement in the first place.
Based on the statistical procedures and techniques which we learned during semester it may be claimed that the article extensively utilizes descriptive statistics which works with different frequencies, crosstabs procedures and descriptive values. This is motivated by the fact that Ipsos Reid poll was mainly directed at finding the structure of financial activities provision and implementation among Ontarians. The main purpose of this statistical analysis was to find the percentage of different financial activities implementation among various groups of Ontarian population including adults subdivided correspondingly to age groups, adolescents and percentage distributed on the basis of gender (men/women).
This entire concerns statistical base. As for the statistical objects assessed they were different financial activities including the orientation of financial plan (retirement, education, anything else); the presence of financial investment, availability of financial advisor or stock broker and using other financial consulting services; the frequency of financial consulting with broker or financial advisors and the themes of conversation.
There is no denying the importance of the fact that the methods and tasks of statistical research influenced much the types of statistical procedures which were used. For instance, those correlation procedures are quite important in statistical analysis they are not presented in statistical research and are just interpreted in the discussed article in a descriptive way which would be analyzed later. Such statistical methods as General Linear Model which is based on univariate and multivariate statistical procedures and the repeated measures were neglected in the discussed original research and article though they may have proved to be very effective in the analysis of financial planning (Urdan, 2001, p. 35).
As was noted above such methods as correlation analysis using bivariate and partial correlation were not made in original research and hence in the article. Though to be objective it should be said the calculation of correlation values would be superfluous in this particular analysis.
Such statistical methods learned during the course as statistical and logistic regression could prove to be important to revealing correlation between various parameters of financial planning but it seems to us that considering the purpose of the original research and the discussed article this method would be not so effective. Finally such methods as data reduction which gives factor analysis and scale which gives reliability analysis as well as nonparametric tests were not applicable to the object of the discussed statistical analysis.
To compare article with an original research we have to pay our attention to such issues as the correlation between original research material and data and the modes of its utilization in the article and the scope of statistical procedures implemented.
First of all the statistical data calculated in original research was used optionally in the article. Te main emphasis of the discussed article was to provide the analysis of financial planning activities among Ontarians directed at retirement needs hence much of material relating to educational financial planning and other financial activities were omitted (Chaddock, 1925).
There is no denying the importance of the fact that this data was crucial for understanding the structure of financial expenditures of Ontarians and differentiation among various categories of citizens. Besides this one should mention that the statistical research on the issue of the themes discussed with financial advisors and brokers was completely neglected by the authors of the article though it is important for covering all crucial aspects of the financial planning among Ontarians. The statistical material which was the most widely utilized in the abovementioned article concerns mainly the objects of financial planning, the availability of financial consulting service provided by financial advisor and brokers as well as the frequency of their utilization.
The statistical research was conducted using the representative and randomly selected sample of 905 Ontarian adults which were interviewed online. Considering the method of sampling and its size the statistical results and findings can be regarded to be accurate within +-3,3 % points which is 19 times out of 20 of the results being presented in the case of entire adult population was polled. The error margin will be more significant if applied to other regions and sub-groupings of a survey population. Besides this it should be mention that the abovementioned statistical research was designed to limit margin error by ensuring that sample’s regional and sex/age compositions reflected the actual Canadian population Census data.
The statistical differentiation was produced on the basis of gender, sex, age, education, family income etc. The statistical data was developed using overlap measurement formula which allowed guaranteeing high level of precision and statistical significance of the data. Besides this the columns representing statistical objects were constructed at 5 percent risk level which may be regarded as the affordable margin for such types of statistical research. Among key concepts used in this statistical research one should mention such as independent variables, measurable scales, relation between variables, the basic characteristics of the relation between different variables, statistical significance etc.
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The variables used in the measurement scale are mainly nominal and ordinal which excludes interval and ratio variables. The abovementioned statistical research does not mention any statistical standard errors and deviation which means that they are almost absent, i.e. insignificant in terms of statistical finding and results.
As for the findings as the discussed article suggests they are abundant and their implication for the mass communications and governmental policies are huge.
The statistical research proves in the first place that almost one half (46%) of the Ontarian adults do not have financial planning system for their retirement; 88% of Ontarians don’t have any financial planning tools for buying home and more than 58% do not have a financial plan for the education of their children. The abovementioned article provides readers with other significant data showing that men are more likely than women to create a financial plan for various projects; that older people are more likely to create financial plans that younger ones and those families having higher level of income are more likely to start financial planning for their retirement.
Besides this the statistical research found out that 60% of Ontarians do have financial investment though only 36% claim to have financial advisors and 9% – brokers. Among those Ontarians who possess investments more than 40% do no have financial advisors. Furthermore the statistical research revealed that men are likely than women to have financial investments while women are considered to be more likely to have financial advisors and consultants. What relates to generational distribution of statistical results it should be noted that older people are more likely to have financial investments that younger ones.
Based on the statistical research the discussed article also provides its readers with important information on income differentiations of performing financial activities. For instance, as statistical data suppose families with income over 60000$ are more prone (77%) to ask questions to their brokers and financial consultants. Besides this women can be described as more likely to share with their brokers information on realization of their financial plans that men. This is also true of older people in comparison to younger Ontarians in their reliance on the advice of their broker concerning financial portfolios.
Assessing the abovementioned statistical data it may be claimed that it is statistically significant. The results of the statistical analysis are not arbitral and invalid but are properly generated by means of utilization of effective statistical tools. The common sense and non-statistical empirical data prove that quantitative statistical findings are congruent with qualitative parameters of financial activities performed by Ontarians of different age categories. In this way the statistical data plays the role of supportive evidence to the discussed phenomena. The probability of error which was stipulated by this particular statistical research is 5% which means that it can be viewed as statistically significant though if it had 1% of probability error it would have been more reliable.
As it was noted the statistical data presented in the original research was widely used in the article. The claims that were made on the basis of original data were predominantly presented in the form of directed analysis when the authors extended the quantitative data presented in original research through unbroken narration. Notwithstanding this fact some minor attempts to interpret the data and make some further generalization or deduction were made in the course of analysis.
Proceeding from our analysis it should be claimed that the discussed article raised some of the most important issues which may find their expression in mass communication and public discourse. The main reasons for this can be found in the fact that this research found out that the levels of financial planning among Ontarians are not very high thus all stakeholders should take appropriate actions to redress the situation. Financial planning for retirement, health and education should be regarded as crucial elements of family and individual financial stability in the fact of currency volatility and inflationary forces. Besides this the abovementioned research showed that there exist considerable difference between the levels of orientations of financial planning between different age, income and gender groups which makes policy-makers and public institutions make further steps in social policy on the regional level. To sum it up it may be claimed that the original research in pair with article which is based on it, may stimulate public discussions on the burning issues of financial planning and security.
What concerns the critique of the discussed article it should be said that I haven’t found any significant bias and misinterpretations of statistically relevant data. The analysis presented in the article was mainly presented in the descriptive form without value-based evaluations of financial planning activities and the statistical values.
The research that may be found in the discussed article does not seem to support the interests of any party as it provides objective information. It should be noted however that the authors use some tools for stressing the importance of statistical data they use. For instance statistical information on retirement financial planning and correlation between income and utilization of financial consulting services are put into headline. Thus, it should be said that the discussed article is helpful in shaping our social experience as we are provided with a professional outline of statistical data referring to the issues of financial planning. One of the most important advantages of the discussed article is that it leaves much space for readers to make their own conclusions and generalizations and does not impose any biased evaluations and views.
- Chaddock, R. E. (1925). Principles and Methods of Statistics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Ipsos Reid Public Release. (2007). Nearly One Half (46%) of Ontarians Have No Financial Plan to save for their Retirement. Four in ten (40%) Investors Don’t have a Financial Advisor. Ipsos Reid.
- Urdan, T. C. (2001). Statistics in Plain English. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.