Canadians investment attitudes shift significantly during global financial crisis



    VANCOUVER, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - National research conducted for the British
Columbia Securities Commission shows that, over the last three months,
investors have become significantly more cautious and more pessimistic about
their retirement standard of living.
    Innovative Research Group conducted the first phase of the on-line study
of 1,770 Canadian investors in July 2008, with a significant sample of
investors who are retired or nearing retirement. Entitled The 21st Century
Investor, it focuses on the "Silver Tsunami", a large group of Canadians who
are currently in transition from working to retiring. Following the global
financial crisis, a second shorter survey of 1,058 Canadian investors took
place between Oct. 16 and 17 to determine whether there has been a shift in
investors' attitudes.
    The research is a key component of the BCSC's Capital Ideas conference
being held today in Vancouver. B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen opened the
conference.
    "In light of the recent global financial crisis, we thought it was very
important to update our findings about how Canada's aging population is
approaching investment choices," said Doug Hyndman, BCSC chair. "The more
insight we have into what is happening to investors, the better equipped we
will be to provide them with the appropriate tools and protection."
    The most recent survey shows that the percentage of investors who think
their standard of living in retirement will be worse than it is today has
risen from 31 per cent to 44 per cent since July 2008. While those thinking
that their standard of living in retirement will be better than today remained
the same at 20 per cent.
    Survey respondents are also reporting they are more wary about investing
in today's financial climate. Overall, risk averse investors - those who want
to protect their original investment and minimize risk - have risen from
40 per cent to 56 per cent since July, with the most risk averse category
doubling from 12 per cent to 24 per cent.
    There is also a six per cent increase in those feeling more vulnerable to
declining real estate values, and less than half (48 per cent) of respondents
say they are confident when it comes to making investment decisions, compared
to 56 per cent in July.
    "As we look at the changing attitudes, it is clear that the first
response by investors to the recent financial turmoil is to protect themselves
by investing more cautiously and taking fewer risks," stated Greg Lyle,
managing director, Innovative Research Group.
    In response to this and other research findings, the BCSC is adding a new
tool to its investor education website, InvestRight.org. Guide for Investing:
How to Work with Your Investment Advisor will provide practical advice on how
to choose and work with an advisor and how to manage an investment portfolio
on an ongoing basis. It provides investors with ways to research for
information, general guidance on investing, and provides worksheets that the
investor can use to ask important questions regarding their investments.
    "We believe that this guide will provide information and advice that will
help investors take an active role in meeting their investment goals," said
Hyndman. "It will help investors avoid common pitfalls and hold market
professionals accountable on an ongoing basis."

    The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government
agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province.
If you have questions, contact Ken Gracey, Media Relations, 604-899-6577 or
visit www.bcsc.bc.ca for the research report.
    Learn how to avoid investment fraud at the BCSC's investor education
website: www.investright.org.





For further information:

For further information: Ken Gracey, (604) 899-6577 or (B.C. & Alberta)
1-800-373-6393


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