Investing in an effective and tax-efficient manner isn't the No. 1 financial goal for most Americans.
That's the findings from a new report by BMO Wealth Management. The bank polled 1,018 adults online, asking them about their financial priorities and anxieties.
When asked "What is the single financial priority that is most important to you?" 31 percent — the largest share of participants — said debt reduction was their top financial goal.
Twenty-six percent cited increasing their savings, while only 21 percent ranked "investing effectively and tax efficiently" as their primary concern.
"The 2008 market shift caused many people to understand that debt caused some of that unwinding," said Richard Kollauf, director of wealth services at BMO.
"To the extent individuals can deleverage, they will be stronger," he said.