Canadians Concerned About Retirement Savings and Rising Interest Rates but Lack Investment Knowledge

AGF survey finds investors turning to financial advisors to help them rethink risk 
AGF launches

TORONTO, June 19, 2014 /CNW/ - A recent Nielsen investor survey commissioned by AGF Management Limited (AGF) found that seven in ten Canadians are concerned they have not saved enough for retirement while more than six in ten have not taken measures to protect their portfolio against the potential of rising interest rates because they are not sure what to do. This may provide an opportunity for increased engagement between investors and their advisors.

The survey was conducted in February 2014 and polled 1001 Canadians 35-years and older with at least $25,000 in investible assets and found that:

  • 69% of Canadians are concerned that they have not saved enough for retirement
  • 71% are somewhat or not at all knowledgeable about investing
  • 59% are concerned about the effect rising rates may have on their investment portfolio, but have done nothing to protect their portfolio as they are not sure what to do

"We know people are not saving enough for their retirement and may not be prepared to deal with future market volatility. What this survey shows is that a growing number of Canadians recognize these as important issues and want to address them," said Blake C. Goldring, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AGF Management Limited. "Financial literacy and financial advice are the best tools to employ in these circumstances and these survey results indicate that Canadians recognize the value of both. Our industry is critical to the long term financial success of Canadians and we have a great opportunity to reshape how investors approach savings and how they think about risk."

The Investment Disconnect

When asked if they were on track to meet retirement goals, 69% of Canadians indicated concern that they have not saved enough for retirement and only one in ten indicated they were confident they will reach their retirement goals. Surprisingly however, when considering their current investment state relative to where they want to be when they retire, more than half (57%) believe they need to 'stay the course' and continue with their current investment strategy, indicating a disconnect between beliefs and actions.

Canadians also tend to take little action during down markets. On average, Canadians believe they lost between 10% and 50% of their investment portfolio as a result of the market slide of 2008, but one in five were unable to indicate exactly how much they lost. Even in the face of a substantial equity setback, less than half of Canadians (49%) made adjustments to their portfolio.

Investors Recognize Investment Risks but Lack Strategies

When it comes to current investing strategies, 56% of Canadians are concerned about the impact of rising interest rates on their portfolio, but three-in-five (59%) claim they do not know what to do about it. Similarly, although 80% of Canadians understand that there are benefits to global diversification, 59% are unsure if investing outside of the country is worth the risk. Overall, one-in-five Canadians say they do not have any investments outside of Canada and an equal number are unsure if they do.

Working with an Advisor Signals Better Overall Engagement and Confidence

In general, Canadians are seeking investment advice. The survey found that three out of five Canadians have a financial advisor and three quarters of them believe that he or she is important in helping them make investment decisions. As well, 75% of those polled with an advisor are very or somewhat active in planning for their retirement. As age rises, so does the belief that financial advisors are very important.

"We look forward to working with investors and our advisor community to address the critical issues that our survey findings have revealed," Goldring added.

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AGF's investor study was conducted online among a sample of 1,001 Canadians ages 35 and older with $25,000 or more in investible assets. The survey was administered from February 11th and February 25th, 2014 by Nielsen. As the study was completed using Nielsen's proprietary online panel, it is precluded from reporting a margin of error. The margin of error for a representative sample of this size (n=1,001) would be ± 3.1 per cent, within a 95% confidence interval.


AGF Management Limited is one of Canada's premier independent investment management firms with offices across Canada and subsidiaries around the world. AGF's products include a diversified family of award-winning mutual funds, mutual fund wrap programs and pooled funds. AGF also manages assets on behalf of institutional investors including pension plans, foundations and endowments as well as for private clients. With approximately $36 billion in total assets under management, AGF serves more than one million investors. AGF trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol AGF.B.


For further information:

Media, please contact:

Pamela Marchant, VP, Marketing Communications
AGF Investments Inc.

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