Deep freeze among Atlantic Canadian investors

91% of Atlantic Canadians failed to buy in 2009 despite market's recovery

HALIFAX, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Equity markets were red hot in 2009 but Atlantic Canadians remain frozen in action and unaware of the market's dramatic recovery, according to a new survey released today by Franklin Templeton Investments Corp.

In Franklin Templeton's latest survey of Canadian investor sentiment, conducted in January by Angus Reid Public Opinion, 69 per cent of Atlantic Canadians were frozen in action last year or unsure of what to do when it came to investing. That's significantly frostier than the rest of the country. In Ontario, 51 per cent of Canadians were frozen or uncertain last year and in Quebec, 55 per cent did not know what to do or froze.

Eighty-five per cent of Atlantic Canadians surveyed were unaware of the dramatic gains recorded by the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the country's leading stock index. The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 30.7 per cent in value last year, its best annual return since 1979.

"Atlantic Canadians were in a cautious mood last year with only nine per cent making new investments," said James Cook, executive vice president of Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. "Our survey indicates few may change their ways in 2010. When asked about investing intentions this year, 65 per cent of Atlantic Canadians do not plan to make new investments or do not know what they will do."

Despite the market's recovery and an improving Canadian economy, the survey found a dramatic increase in investor skepticism among Atlantic Canadians. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents describe their current investment personality as either "suspicious" or "timid," up fourteen points from February 2009. Meanwhile, only 18 per cent of respondents described themselves as "analytical," "opportunistic" and "risk-taking," compared to 33 per cent a year ago.

"Across Atlantic Canada, investor skepticism is on the rise and confidence in the markets is dropping significantly," said Mr. Cook. "Atlantic Canadians should consider getting professional advice from a trusted investment advisor. This can help boost confidence and make a real difference when it comes to meeting long term financial goals."

Franklin Templeton's investment experts are currently touring Canada speaking to investment advisors about strategies and solutions for 2010. On February 3, the team will be in Halifax and on February 4 will visit Moncton and Fredericton.

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 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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