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• Jan 20, 2016

A lot has been discussed and written about the power of images, and how picturing success can help you achieve it. And yet, are people who visualize their financial success any more confident about achieving it than those who don't? Is a picture really worth a thousand words? TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, decided to find out, and surveyed 1,127 individuals and 500 small business owners across the U.S. about their visualization practices.

According to the survey, people who imagine their financial and other goals are much more confident about achieving them than those who don't. In fact, those who keep images, photos or vision boards of such goals are almost twice as confident (59 percent vs. 31 percent) that they will achieve them than those who don't. And while New Year's resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep, 67 percent of individuals surveyed believe that pictures will improve their odds of achieving them.

TD's survey found that picturing objectives influences how individuals feel about their finances:

  • People who visualize their goals are less anxious about budgeting than those who don't (16 percent vs. 29 percent) and feel more accomplished and happy (73 percent vs. 50 percent).
  • Consumers who picture their achievements are more than twice as satisfied with their financial health as those who don't (38 percent vs. 18 percent).

"As the Human Bank, we're dedicated to empowering our customers to achieve their short- and long-term financial goals," said Ryan Bailey, Head of Consumer Deposits, Payments and Non-Real Estate Lending, TD Bank. "That's why we're so pleased with the powerful insights we gleaned from this study. These learnings will enable us to help consumers and small business owners harness the power of visualization to make their dreams a reality."

TD Bank partnered with renowned psychologist Dr. Barbara Nusbaum to analyze the results of this study. Dr. Nusbaum specializes in treating patients regarding the emotional and psychological implications of money.

"Images connect us more immediately and emotionally to our personal and financial goals, and to our setting and achieving them. And images help us in our thinking and moving toward these goals," said Dr. Nusbaum. "I'm not surprised that people who imagine or picture their goals are better at budgeting and saving, and that these activities in themselves provide a sense of well-being."

For Millennials and Hispanics, the Proof is in the Pictures

Millennials, a generation that largely grew up with digital cameras and the Internet, noted visualization is a very important tool for accomplishing their dreams. Seventy-four percent of Millennials keep pictures of their goals and achievements, compared with 59 percent of respondents ages 35 and older. In fact, 91 percent of them attribute their current financial position to having envisioned a plan to get there.

Hispanics also embrace the power of images. Across all age groups, 74 percent of them keep images of their goals and achievements, compared with 63 percent of the broader sample size. Furthermore, 38 percent of Hispanics completely credit having envisioned their goals as the reason for their current financial position.

Small Businesses Picture Their Success

Forty-six percent of small business owners started their business because they had a vision and decided to follow it. Seeing the "big picture" can directly impact success:

  • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of small business owners believe that visualizing goals helps them map and develop their business plans.
  • One in five small business owners used a vision board or other representation when starting the business, and among those respondents, 76 percent reported that their business is today where they envisioned it would be when they started it.
  • An overwhelming 82 percent of small business owners who used a vision board from the start reported that they have accomplished more than half of their goals thus far.

As with consumers, young entrepreneurs embrace visualization in goal-setting. Millennials are more likely to use a vision board when establishing their business (59 percent) and developing business plans (89 percent).

In conjunction with this survey, TD Bank is helping customers record and achieve their financial goals, as well as create a picture-perfect banking relationship. Starting on Jan. 18 and extending through Feb. 29, or while supplies last, new customers who meet eligibility requirements and open a checking account with debit, savings and online banking will receive a Polaroid CUBE+ HD lifestyle action camera (from TD Bank). For more information on the #TDPicturePerfect campaign, visit

Survey Methodology

The consumer and small business studies were conducted using separate samples and were hosted by global research company Vision Critical. The consumer study was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,127 American individuals, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent. Interviews were completed from Dec. 29, 2015, through Jan. 4, 2016. The small business study was conducted among a sample of 501 American small business owners with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent. Interviews were completed from Dec. 29, 2015, through Jan. 3, 2016.

About Vision Critical

Vision Critical provides a cloud-based customer intelligence platform that helps companies build engaged, secure communities of customers they can use continuously, across the enterprise, for ongoing, real-time feedback and insight.

About Dr. Barbara Nusbaum

Dr. Nusbaum brings over 20 years' experience to her pioneering work in the new field of money psychology. She consults with financial organizations, wealth advisory firms, financial planners and other professionals to help understand the impact money-related issues have on their organizations and their clients. Dr. Nusbaum helps remove the ever-present money-related blocks getting in the way of success, satisfaction and goals. She founded the New York Financial Psychology Group, an outside-the-box group of experts addressing money issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective. She also consults with schools on financial education and values.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit Find TD Bank on Facebook at and on Twitter at

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit


For full survey results, please contact Lisa Sawicki


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