Foreign Investments an Untapped Market for Many Canadians: Scotiabank Investment Poll

Four in ten Canadians name Asia as the continent with the greatest growth potential for investing outside of Canada

TORONTO, Jan. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - While Canadians might be going into the New Year with a list of resolutions, something they aren't likely to have are foreign investments. According to the Scotiabank Investment Poll, one-quarter of Canadians with investments (28 per cent) hold foreign investments within their portfolio.

When asked which countries outside of Canada offer the most growth potential for investing, 27 per cent of Canadians answered that they didn't know.

"It's interesting that the number of Canadians holding foreign investments is so low given the size of the Canadian investment community," said Vincent Delisle, Managing Director of Portfolio Strategy at Scotiabank. "Depending on your financial goals, non-Canadian assets can be a great way to diversify and optimize investment portfolios."

The top regions that people identified as having the greatest growth potential for investing outside of Canada were Asia (39 per cent), South America (15 per cent), United States (13 per cent), Mexico/Central America (8 per cent) and Europe (8 per cent).

Men are more likely than women to identify Asia (52 per cent vs. 27 per cent), South America (22 per cent vs. 9 per cent), United States (16 per cent vs. 10 per cent), and Mexico/Central America (12 per cent vs. 5 per cent) as regions offering the greatest potential growth for investing outside of Canada.

"If Canadians are confused about which overseas opportunities they might want to invest in, we recommend visiting a financial advisor," said Keir Clark, Senior Wealth Advisor at ScotiaMcLeod. "You can gain the personalized advice about whether your financial portfolio would benefit from looking beyond our country."

Men are more likely to hold foreign investments within their portfolio (32 per cent compared to 23 per cent of women). Younger Canadians (18-34) are the least likely age group to have foreign investments (16 per cent hold them).

To get a second opinion on your investments, please visit a local Scotiabank near you, call the Scotiabank Investment Line at 1-800-953-7441 or visit

About the polling data
The 2012 Scotiabank Investment Poll was conducted online using Harris/Decima's proprietary panel. A total of 1,003 surveys were conducted from a random sample of panel members aged 18 years and over across Canada. The study was conducted from November 28th to December 13th, 2012.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 81,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. In December 2012, Scotiabank became the first Canadian bank to be named Global Bank of the Year and Bank of the Year in the Americas by The Banker magazine, a Financial Times publication. With assets of $668 billion (as at October 31, 2012), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit


Regional Breakdown

Growth Potential for Investing Outside of Canada

Countries with growth potential Total Region
Atlantic Quebec Ontario Man/Sask Alberta BC
Asia 39% 41% 33% 39% 45% 38% 44%
South America 15% 15% 11% 18% 15% 16% 13%
United States 13% 17% 12% 15% 14% 8% 11%
Europe 8% 12% 9% 7% 4% 4% 9%
Mexico/CentralAmerica 8% 10% 8% 9% 11% 6% 5%
Russia 3% 1% 2% 3% 9% 6% 1%
Other 3% 4% 2% 4% 2% 5% 1%
None in particular 14% 8% 15% 12% 12% 16% 19%
Don't know 27% 33% 31% 25% 27% 24% 26%

Foreign Investments Within Portfolio

Hold foreign investments in portfolio Total Region
Atlantic Quebec Ontario Man/Sask Alberta BC
Yes 28% 30% 24% 29% 34% 26% 25%
No 65% 63% 68% 64% 58% 62% 68%






SOURCE: Scotiabank - Products & Services

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Diana Hart
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