TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/13/13 -- British Columbians have extra reason to celebrate this summer, as their province has scored the highest on BMO Nesbitt Burns' Savviest Investor Index.
British Columbia ranked in first place in BMO Nesbitt Burns' national bi-annual study, with a score of 92. This narrowly beat out Alberta, which held the top spot in 2011. This year, Albertans scored 88 in financial "savvy", followed by the Prairies (86), Ontario (82), Quebec (76) and Atlantic Canada (74).
BMO Nesbitt Burns' Savviest Investor Index measures Canadian investors' attitudes and actions. Specifically, "savvy" is determined by several criteria, including:
-- Whether they have a financial plan-- Awareness of their investment profile-- Amount of attention they pay to market trends-- General knowledge about investments and how various factors can impact their portfolio
British Columbian investors led the country in a number of key categories, including having a financial plan, investment product knowledge and understanding how various factors can impact their portfolios.
"While congratulations should go out to British Columbia for leading the nation in our study, it was a tight race coast to coast and all regions should take pride in how well they scored," said Bill Brown, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, National Sales Manager, BMO Nesbitt Burns.
Canadians Confident, But Gaps Exist
More generally, the study found that the vast majority (84 per cent) of Canadian investors are confident that they are managing their investments well. However, despite this sentiment, the study also found that:
-- One-third do not know what specific investments they hold within their portfolios.-- Half have a written financial plan, and only one-in-three have updated it in the last year.-- Just over half of investors (56 per cent) know their investment profile (which identifies financial goals and risk tolerance).
"While it's encouraging that Canadians are optimistic about their ability to manage their investments, it's concerning that such a significant number don't have a written financial plan and are unclear about what investments they hold," said Mr. Brown. "The key to achieving your long-term financial goals is creating a financial plan that starts today. Whether you are saving for a house, a family or a well-earned retirement, a personalized financial plan will help you achieve your goals."
Mr. Brown added that, for those who are unsure about how to go about managing their wealth, enlisting the assistance of an investment advisor can be a good option. An investment advisor can provide custom-tailored, holistic wealth management strategies that span investment management, financial planning, insurance, tax, estate and other advisory services.
Other Key Study Findings:
-- Product Knowledge: Canadian investors are most knowledgeable about GICs (58 per cent) and mutual funds (55 per cent), and least knowledgeable about ETFs (19 per cent).-- Most investors understand how their investments are impacted by interest rates (80 per cent), currency rates (66 per cent) and credit ratings (62 per cent). They are least knowledgeable about how stock market fluctuations (54 per cent) and corporate earnings (38 per cent) impact their investments.-- Seniors are the most likely to know what specific investments they hold (77 per cent).
Survey results cited in this report are from online interviews with a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over, conducted May 9-13, 2013.
Rachael McKay, Toronto
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
Laurie Grant, Vancouver