Canadian investors frozen - with slight thaw in West

82% of Western Canadian investors failed to buy in 2009 market rally - but other regions missed out even more

VANCOUVER, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - Western Canadians were the nation's most active investors in 2009, but still overwhelmingly failed to take advantage of the market's dramatic recovery, according to a survey released today by Franklin Templeton Investments Corp.

In Franklin Templeton's latest survey of Canadian investor sentiment, conducted earlier this month by Angus Reid Public Opinion, 82 per cent of Western Canadians report that they failed to invest in 2009. That's still better than the rest of the country. Eighty-six per cent of Canadians surveyed in Ontario, and more than 90 per cent in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces did not make new investments in 2009.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index soared 30.7 per cent in value last year, its best annual return since 1979. However, only 18 per cent of Western Canadians were aware of the dramatic gains recorded by the country's leading stock index, four points better than the national average.

When asked about investing intentions in 2010, Western Canadians are cautious. Forty-eight per cent do not plan to make new investments or do not know what to they will do. Yet they are far more aggressive than Canadians living east of Manitoba. At least fifty-seven per cent of survey respondents in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces are unlikely to make new investments or are uncertain what to do this year.

"Western Canadians were the country's most opportunistic and knowledgeable investors in 2009," said Jennifer Ball, senior vice president of Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. "Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority did not invest last year and our survey found almost half may not return to the markets in 2010. We urge Canadians to get professional advice from a trusted investment advisor. It can make a real difference when it comes to meeting your long term financial goals."

Despite the market's recovery and an improving Canadian economy, the survey found investor skepticism among Western Canadians remains weak. Forty per cent of respondents describe their current investment personality as either "suspicious" or "timid," up two points from February 2009. Meanwhile, 33 per cent of investors described themselves as "analytical", "opportunistic" and "risk-taking," down one point from a year ago.

Franklin Templeton's investment experts are touring Canada speaking to investment advisors about strategies and solutions for 2010. They will be visiting the following cities in Western Canada on:

    
    -   January 25: Vancouver and Victoria
    -   January 26: Surrey and Kelowna
    -   January 27: Edmonton and Calgary
    -   January 28: Saskatoon and Regina
    -   January 29: Winnipeg
    

About the survey:

On January 4 and 5, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,019 adult Canadians. The regional results are based on the larger national results. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to Statistics Canada's most current education, age, gender and region census data to ensure a representative sample of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Franklin Templeton Investments Corp (www.franklintempleton.ca)

Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc., a global investment organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. In Canada, Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment advisory services to the Franklin, Templeton, Bissett and Mutual Series funds, and institutional accounts. Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. has more than 600 employees providing services to more than one million unitholder accounts and more than 200 pension funds, foundations and other institutional investors.

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN), is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and more than US$553 billion (C$581 billion) in assets under management as of December 31, 2009.

SOURCE Franklin Templeton Investments Corp.

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Sarah Kingdon, Franklin Templeton Investments Corp., (416) 957-6191; Debra Chan, Argyle Communications, (416) 968-7311 ext. 229


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