Markets hot but Canadian investors frozen

87% failed to buy during TSX's 2009 recovery; 86% unaware of market growth

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - Equity markets were red hot in 2009 but 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 this January by Angus Reid Public Opinion, 87 per cent report that they failed to invest in 2009. And there's no indication Canadians will be getting back into the markets any time soon. Fifty-eight per cent do not plan to make new investments in 2010 or do not know what to do.

Few Canadians are knowledgeable when it comes to today's investment climate. The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 30.7 per cent in value last year, its best annual return since 1979. However, 86 per cent of Canadians surveyed were unaware of the dramatic gain recorded by the country's leading stock index.

However, those who did follow the market closely were far more likely to take action. The survey found 37 per cent of Canadians who described themselves as buyers in 2009 correctly identified the market's recovery. Canadians who invested last year were far more likely to understand the market's performance.

"Franklin Templeton's research shows that informed investors were best positioned to take advantage of the markets last year," said James Cook, executive vice president of Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. "Only 14 per cent of investors knew the TSX rose more than 20 per cent in 2009 - and perhaps that's why so few benefited from last year's market surge. It's important for Canadians to get advice - and get invested."

Despite the market's recovery and an improving Canadian economy, the survey found investor skepticism and fear on the rise. Forty per cent of respondents describe their current investment personality as either "suspicious" or "timid," up six points from February 2009. Meanwhile, 29 per cent of investors described themselves as "analytical", "opportunistic" and "risk-taking," down four points from a year ago.

The survey found investment intentions change dramatically with income and education: 62 per cent of those with household incomes over $100,000 are planning new investments, as are 57 per cent of people with a university education.

Men are more likely to invest in equities such as stocks and equity mutual funds than women (14 per cent versus 4 per cent) in 2010. Women are more bearish with 48 per cent unlikely to invest this year compared to 38 per cent of men.

"It's imperative for Canadian investors to get a good understanding of the investment climate and what's required to meet their long-term financial goals," Mr. Cook said. "The key is education and advice - and a trusted investment advisor can make a real difference."

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

    
    -   January 19: Thunder Bay
    -   January 21: Guelph and Waterloo
    -   January 25: North York and Richmond Hill
    -   January 26: Toronto and Scarborough
    -   January 27: Peterborough and Kingston
    -   January 28: Windsor and London
    -   February 2: Ottawa
    -   February 9: Mississauga, Oakville and St. Catharines
    

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


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