“Traditional channels of investing are equally popular among all age segments while digital company use trends higher among younger investors. Financial advisors are viewed positively with high awareness about performance expectations and fees, while willingness to use robo-advisors is still limited.”

– Sanjay Sharma, Senior Financial Services Analyst

Key issues covered in this Report:

  • This Report covers the attitudes and behaviours of investors through the lens of traditional (human advice) and digital investing (online brokerages, robo-advisors).
  • The Report was written between October 16 to November 10, 2022.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Top takeaways
              • Market overview
                • Outlook on investing: traditional vs digital
                  • Figure 1: Outlook for investing, 2022-27
                • Opportunities
                  • Half of lower-income earners cite lack of funds as a barrier to investing
                    • Higher advisor trust among women could open the door to a more collaborative relationship
                      • Challenges
                        • Big banks have a brand and distribution advantage
                          • Robo-advisors are a young person’s game
                          • The Market – Market Perspective

                            • Canada has an ageing population
                              • Figure 2: Proportion of 0-14s and over-65s as a percentage of the Canadian population, 1988-2068*
                            • Diminished capacity among seniors a consequence of ageing population
                              • Apps facilitating investment education
                                • Inflation is impacting savings of consumers
                                  • Figure 3: Changes in Consumer Price Index, September 2019-September 2022
                              • Competitive Developments

                                • Regulators face pressure to review rules as investors turn to social media posts for advice
                                  • Coinsquare becomes first crypto company to register with IIROC
                                    • Canada’s disclosure rules for ESG investing
                                      • Making investing more social
                                          • Figure 4: Blossom social investing shorts, October-November 2022
                                      • Marketing Campaigns

                                        • Canaccord Genuity unveils its brand refresh
                                            • Figure 5: ‘Driven by your success’, September 2022
                                          • Neo Financial broadens product line and launches ad campaign
                                            • World Gold Council
                                              • Figure 6: Gold Is Everyone’s Asset | Join the Auburn Family Dinner, June 2022
                                            • Why is BMO launching a Twitch channel?
                                                • Figure 7: BMO NXT LVL | Where Gaming Meets Banking (Desk Tour), May 2022
                                              • TD promotes its direct investment app
                                                  • Figure 8: TD Easy Trade: Becoming an Investor, February 2022
                                              • Investing: Traditional vs Digital – Fast Facts

                                                • Investment Ownership

                                                  • Some 6% of Canadians have more than a million in investments
                                                    • Figure 9: Breakdown of investments (excluding pensions), 2022
                                                  • Two in three consumers own an investment product
                                                    • Figure 10: Ownership of investments, 2022
                                                  • Age influences type of product owned
                                                    • Figure 11: Ownership of investments, by age, 2022
                                                  • Men also have a higher ownership of many products
                                                    • Figure 12: Ownership of investments, men vs women, 2022
                                                  • GICs and Treasury bills owned by a third of affluent consumers; one in 10 owns bonds
                                                      • Figure 13: Ownership of investments, by amount of investable assets owned, 2022
                                                    • Higher engagement drives higher ownership of investments among Chinese and South Asian Canadians
                                                      • Figure 14: Ownership of investments, Chinese and South Asian consumers vs overall, 2022
                                                  • Reasons for Not Owning Investments

                                                    • Besides insufficient money, lack of knowledge an inhibiting factor
                                                      • Figure 15: Reasons for not owning investments, 2022
                                                    • Lack of knowledge is more of a driving factor for 18-34s
                                                      • Figure 16: “I don’t know enough about investing”, by age, 2022
                                                      • Figure 17: ‘Donut be afraid to adjust your portfolio’, November 2022
                                                    • Lack of knowledge also inhibits higher-income non-owners
                                                      • Figure 18: Reasons for not owning investments (select), household income <$70K vs >$70K, 2022
                                                      • Figure 19: Wealthsimple Facebook ad, July 2022
                                                  • Type of Financial Institution Used

                                                    • Retail banks used by half of investors
                                                      • Figure 20: Where investments are held, 2022
                                                    • Big banks have a brand and distribution advantage compared to most credit unions
                                                      • Figure 21: Where investments are held, by region, 2022
                                                    • Age impacts use of digital, while traditional channels are equally popular
                                                      • Figure 22: Where investments are held, by age, 2022
                                                    • Insurance companies can stand out through unique offerings
                                                      • Figure 23: Industrial Alliance Facebook ad, June 2022
                                                    • The rise of online brokerages
                                                      • Figure 24: Questrade Facebook ad, September 2022
                                                    • Robo-advisors are a young person’s game
                                                      • Figure 25: RBC InvestEase Facebook video, May 2022
                                                    • Men have a much stronger affinity towards digital investing
                                                      • Figure 26: Where investments are held: digital, men vs women, 2022
                                                    • Affluent have a higher usage of bank wealth management subsidiaries and online brokerages
                                                      • Figure 27: Where investments are held, by affluence, 2022
                                                  • Online Brokerages & Robo-advisors

                                                    • Low commissions is top reason for choosing online brokerages
                                                      • Figure 28: Online brokerage choice factors, 2022
                                                      • Figure 29: RBC Direct Investing Facebook ad, May 2022
                                                      • Figure 30: Scotia iTrade Facebook ad, October 2022
                                                    • Product variety and minimum account size also important
                                                      • Age plays minimal role in choosing an online broker
                                                        • Figure 31: Online brokerage choice factors (select), by age, 2022
                                                      • Low management fees are the leading robo-advisor choice factor
                                                        • Figure 32: Robo-advisor choice factors, 2022
                                                        • Figure 33: Robo-advisor choice factors (select), men vs women, 2022
                                                      • Opportunity for robo-advisors to target women
                                                      • Financial Advice

                                                        • Three in five investors at traditional companies have a financial advisor
                                                          • Figure 34: Use of financial advisor, by total value of savings and investments, 2022
                                                        • High degree of awareness about expectations, performance and fees
                                                            • Figure 35: Attitudes towards financial advice, 2022
                                                          • Seven in 10 consumers trust advisors to act in their best interests
                                                            • Referrals are preferred as clients wish to establish a connection
                                                              • Higher advisor trust among women could open the door to a more collaborative relationship
                                                                • Figure 36: Select attitudes towards financial advice (% agree), men vs women, 2022
                                                              • Older consumers are more aware and appreciative of financial advice
                                                                • Figure 37: Select attitudes towards financial advice (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                              • Affluent consumers have a higher risk tolerance and more appreciation for financial advice
                                                                • Figure 38: Select attitudes towards financial advice (% agree), by affluence, 2022
                                                            • Investing Strategies

                                                              • A third use social media to research investing
                                                                • Figure 39: Investing attitudes and strategies, 2022
                                                              • Age and, to a lesser extent, gender influence investing attitudes
                                                                • Figure 40: Investing attitudes and strategies (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                                                • Figure 41: Vanguard investments | short investing video, January 2021
                                                                • Figure 42: Questions you should ask yourself when starting to invest, October 2022
                                                              • Half of male investors aged 18-34 have used leverage to invest
                                                                • Two in three investors are uncertain about investing
                                                                  • Figure 43: Attitudes towards investing decisions, 2022
                                                                • Two in three investors prefer to make losses due to their own decisions
                                                                • General Attitudes

                                                                  • Half of investors agree cryptocurrencies are here to stay
                                                                      • Figure 44: General attitudes towards investing, 2022
                                                                    • Sustainable investing has its share of skeptics
                                                                      • Young men are more bullish on crypto and cynical about sustainable investing
                                                                        • Figure 45: General attitudes towards investing (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                                                      • High home values may be fuelling speculative investing
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms

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