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Canada Exchange Traded and Mutual Funds Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Exchange Traded and Mutual Funds market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Around one in four has mutual funds, one in ten ETFs
  • Lack of knowledge is the biggest purchase barrier for ETFs
  • More than a third prefer buying through a financial advise

Covered in this report

Total worldwide assets in mutual funds (open-ended and fund of funds) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were $50.4 trillion, with ETFs making up 9.3% of the total. Meanwhile, Canadian mutual fund assets were $1.56 trillion while ETF assets rose to $181.4 billion at the end of June 2019.

The last decade has seen the rise of robo-advisers and other model platforms, as well as a shift towards low-cost passive investing. Although ETFs outsold mutual funds in 2018, ETFs make up a smaller percentage of Canadians’ portfolios, while mutual funds are more well-known as they have been around for decades. The primary reason for this is that most people, while they may have heard of ETFs, don’t really know what they are or understand how to use them.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Sanja Sharma, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

ETFs continue to grow in popularity as more investors buy into the concept of low cost, passive investing. While the affluent have embraced ETFs, the mass affluent segment is still relatively untapped Sanja Sharma
Senior Financial Services Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

      • Regional classifications
        • Income
          • Glossary
          • Executive Summary

              • The issues
                • Around one in four has mutual funds, one in ten ETFs
                  • Figure 1: Product ownership, June 2019
                • Lack of knowledge is the biggest purchase barrier for ETFs
                  • More than a third prefer buying through a financial adviser
                    • Figure 2: Attitudes towards mutual fund and ETF investing, June 2019
                  • More than half confident of saving enough for retirement
                    • Figure 3: Attitudes towards investing, June 2019
                  • The opportunities
                    • Younger investors are looking for help
                      • Figure 4: Select attitudes towards investing (% any agree), by gender, June 2019
                    • Younger more willing to pay for active management and use lesser known institutions
                      • Figure 5: Select attitudes towards investing (% any agree), by age, June 2019
                    • What it means
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • New rules announced for alternative mutual funds in Canada
                        • FP Canada works on certification and education
                          • Ontario government and regulatory authority developing final rules for financial planner, financial advisor regulation
                            • Canada gains its first robo-adviser platform geared toward women
                            • What’s New?

                              • New rules announced for alternative mutual funds in Canada
                                • Six key differences for alternative mutual funds
                                • What’s Next?

                                  • FP Canada works on certification and education
                                    • Ontario government and regulatory authority developing final rules for financial planner, financial advisor regulation
                                      • Canada gains its first robo-adviser platform geared toward women
                                          • Figure 6: Willingness to use robo-advisors, by age and gender, November 2017
                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                        • RBC, BlackRock partner to create ETF giant in Canada
                                          • Onex to buy wealth manager Gluskin Sheff
                                            • CI Financial takes majority stake in Wealthbar, entering robo-adviser arena
                                              • Four new ‘one-ticket solution’ ETFs make their debut
                                                • Wealthsimple introduces mutual fund dealer
                                                • Industry Developments and Innovations

                                                  • RBC, BlackRock partner to create ETF giant in Canada
                                                    • Vanguard plots next disruption to Canadian investing
                                                      • Wealthsimple introduces mutual fund dealer
                                                        • Onex to buy wealth manager Gluskin Sheff in $445 million deal
                                                          • CI Financial takes majority stake in Wealthbar, entering robo-adviser arena
                                                            • Four new ‘one-ticket solution’ ETFs make their debut
                                                              • Two new providers, two exits amid competitive ETF atmosphere
                                                                • AdvisorSavvy provides online reviews of advisors
                                                                • Marketing Campaigns

                                                                  • Wealthsimple drops its own Raptors spot
                                                                    • Figure 7: Kawhi Wealthsimple trade, June 2019
                                                                  • HSBC turns billboards into branches
                                                                      • Figure 8: HSBC Bank Canada | The Adpointment, July 2019
                                                                    • Desjardins goes after DIY investors
                                                                      • RBC brings friendly approach to Quebec
                                                                        • Figure 9: Experience the RBC difference with Jay Baruchei, May 2019
                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • One in 20 are millionaires
                                                                        • Insufficient money and lack of knowledge main reasons for not owning mutual funds
                                                                          • More than a third prefer buying through a financial adviser
                                                                            • Younger investors are looking for help
                                                                              • Younger more willing to pay for active management
                                                                              • Affluence and Product Ownership

                                                                                • One in 20 are millionaires
                                                                                  • Figure 10: Amount of investments, June 2019
                                                                                • Men are more affluent
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Amount of investments, by gender, June 2019
                                                                                • Around one in four has mutual funds; one in ten ETFs
                                                                                  • Figure 12: Product ownership, June 2019
                                                                                • Affluence and ownership influenced by age
                                                                                  • Figure 13: Amount of investments, 18-44s vs over-45s, June 2019
                                                                                  • Figure 14: Product ownership (select), 18-44s vs over-45s, June 2019
                                                                                • Affluence and gender also impact ownership
                                                                                  • Figure 15: Product ownership (select), millionaires vs overall population, June 2019
                                                                                  • Figure 16: Product ownership (select), by gender, June 2019
                                                                              • Reasons for Not Owning Mutual Funds and ETFs

                                                                                • Insufficient money and lack of knowledge main reasons for not owning mutual funds
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Reasons for not owning a mutual fund, June 2019
                                                                                • Management fees more of a concern for older investors
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Reasons for not owning a mutual fund (select), by age, June 2019
                                                                                • Management fees and preference for direct investing are barriers for affluent
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Reasons for not owning a mutual fund (select), $500K+ vs overall population, June 2019
                                                                                • Lack of knowledge is the biggest purchase barrier for ETFs
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Reasons for not owning an ETF, June 2019
                                                                                • Women more likely to be hampered by lack of knowledge and money
                                                                                  • Figure 21: Reasons for not owning an ETF (select), by gender, June 2019
                                                                                • Lack of advisor recommendation main purchase barrier for $500K+
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Reasons for not owning an ETF (select), $500K+ vs overall population, June 2019
                                                                              • Mutual Fund and ETF Investing

                                                                                • More than a third prefer buying through a financial adviser
                                                                                  • Figure 23: Attitudes towards mutual fund and ETF investing, June 2019
                                                                                • Around one in four men considers themselves an experienced investor
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Attitudes towards mutual fund and ETF investing (select), by gender, June 2019
                                                                                • Older investors are more experienced and opinionated
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Attitudes towards mutual fund and ETF investing (select), 18-44s vs over-45s, June 2019
                                                                                • Around half of millionaires use advisers for mutual fund and ETF investing
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Attitudes towards mutual fund and ETF investing (select), millionaires vs overall population, June 2019
                                                                              • Attitudes towards Investing

                                                                                • Majority confident of saving enough for retirement
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Attitudes towards investing, June 2019
                                                                                • LGBTQ and young women least confident about retirement savings
                                                                                  • Men are more passionate about investing and confident about retirement savings
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Select attitudes towards investing (% any agree), by gender, June 2019
                                                                                  • Younger investors are looking for help
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Select attitudes towards investing (% any agree), by gender, June 2019
                                                                                    • Around a quarter find mutual fund fees too high
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Investing related attitudes and behaviours (% agree), June 2019
                                                                                    • Millionaires are proactive investors
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Select investing related attitudes and behaviours (% agree), millionaires vs overall, June 2019
                                                                                  • Investing Strategies

                                                                                    • Around two in five are pessimistic about current market conditions
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Attitudes towards investing, June 2019
                                                                                    • Men are more opinionated investors
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Select attitudes towards investing (%any agree), by gender, June 2019
                                                                                    • Younger more willing to pay for active management and use lesser-known institutions
                                                                                      • Figure 34: Attitudes towards investing (select), by age, June 2019
                                                                                    • Affluent are more risk tolerant
                                                                                      • Figure 35: Attitudes towards investing (select), by assets, June 2019
                                                                                    • SRI more likely to appeal to 18-24s and LGBTQs
                                                                                      • Affluent investors more likely to regularly track their portfolio
                                                                                        • Figure 36: “I keep track of my investment portfolio on a regular basis” (% agree), by assets, June 2019
                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms