Most Canadians intend to contribute the same or more to their RRSP

Investors Group poll finds increased caution in investment choices

WINNIPEG, Nov. 10 /CNW/ - After a year of economic uncertainty, Canadians remain committed to investing and saving for retirement but they appear to be taking a more cautious approach, new Investors Group research reveals.

According to the eighth annual RRSP Investment Intentions poll, Canadians' investment intentions remain strong. Two-thirds (68 per cent) of those who plan to contribute to their RRSP for the 2009 tax year intend to contribute the same or more than they did last year. Of the one-quarter (24 per cent) of Canadians who opened a Tax-Free Savings Account in 2009, eight-in-ten (81 per cent) say they plan to invest the same amount or more in 2010.

Canadians who own or plan to start an RRSP appear to be investing a little more conservatively than in previous years. More than two-in-five (44 per cent) said they would choose what they consider to be safe investments this RRSP season, a slight increase over 40 per cent in 2008, but a sharp increase from only one-in-five (19 per cent) in 2007.

More than one-quarter (28 per cent) of pre-retirees say they are investing more cautiously in response to economic uncertainty compared to 21 per cent who said the same a year ago. As well, four-in-ten (38%) are staying the course and making no changes compared to nearly half (46 per cent) in 2008.

"Risk and return go hand in hand, but there's a difference between playing it safe and not playing at all," said Jack Courtney, Assistant Vice President of Advanced Financial Planning at Investors Group. "Too much caution could mean missed opportunities."

The changing retirement picture

The emotional and financial impact of the economic downturn also appears to have affected when and how Canadians plan to retire - particularly in households hit by job loss.

Concern over economic uncertainty prompted more than one-third (37 per cent) of Canadians to say they will delay retirement, an increase from 28 per cent who responded similarly a year ago.

The group taking the most guarded approach to their retirement savings and also planning to work the longest is the one-in-six Canadians (16 per cent) who say that a financially-contributing member of their household has lost a job in 2009. More than half (54 per cent) of those impacted by job loss say they will retire later and three-in-ten (30 per cent) expect they will have to work after they retire.

"Many Canadians may have had their confidence shaken by events of the past year, but investing in the stock market remains an important part of preparing for retirement," said Courtney. "Making a long-term plan, sticking to it, and adjusting when necessary, are all essential."

About the Survey Methodology: This data was gathered through teleVox, Harris/Decima's national telephone omnibus survey. These data were gathered between October 15 and October 26 2009 for just over 2,000 completes. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of approximately 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with $116 billion in total assets under management.

SOURCE Investors Group Inc.

For further information: For further information: Ron Arnst, Investors Group, (204) 956-3364, ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com; Meredith Adolph or Lisa Mills, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2667, (416) 969-2831, madolph@environicspr.com, lmills@environicspr.com

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