Many Canadians plan to enjoy themselves more with stronger dollar, Investors Group poll finds

    WINNIPEG, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - A significant number of Canadians are planning
more and longer travel and recreational outings as a result of the continued
strength of the Canadian dollar. Forty-four per cent say the increasing value
of the Canadian dollar means they will take more vacations outside Canada.
Four out of ten (41 per cent) say they will be able to stay away for a longer
time on vacations.
    A number of Canadians also plan to increase their cross-border shopping
trips, as 29 per cent of those surveyed said they will cross the border into
the United States more often for shopping and entertainment.
    The findings are part of a survey conducted by Harris/Decima Research for
Investors Group between September 4th and 13th.
    "It appears large numbers of Canadians are coming to the parity party,"
said John Wiltshire, Senior Vice-President, Product and Financial Planning at
Investors Group. "Many Canadians believe the rising value of the loonie will
enhance the quality of their vacations. Forty-four per say they will have a
better time traveling outside Canada because they can spend more money on
food, entertainment and shopping."
    However, a majority of survey respondents (59 per cent) say the rising
value of the Canadian dollar won't affect their lifestyle decisions. This
belief is especially strong among retired people, with three out of four
(75 per cent) confirming they do not expect any significant lifestyle changes
as a result of the stronger dollar.
    "The Canadian dollar achieving parity with the US dollar seems to be a
notable psychological and emotional event for many Canadians," Wiltshire
commented. "Financially, Canadians have been feeling the impact of the rising
value of the dollar incrementally, both positive and negative, ever since 2003
when the loonie began its ascent in earnest."
    Canadians are divided about how long the dollar can stay in the 90-plus
cent range. One in three Canadians (32 per cent) expect the Canadian dollar to
stay at 90 cents or higher compared to the U.S. dollar for between one and two
years. Another 22 per cent say the dollar will stay high for the next three to
five years. An optimistic 17 per cent believe high dollar values are here to
stay more than five years.
    Canadians also do not appear to be in any great hurry to alter their
investment decision making as a result of the rising dollar. Forty per cent of
those with an investment portfolio are not sure the strong Canadian dollar
will change their investment decisions in any way. This view is particularly
strong among retired Canadians, 54 per cent of whom agree with this statement.
    "As always, people should talk with a financial advisor to understand the
impact of currency parity on their financial situation. For most, it will be
business as usual," said Wiltshire.

    A total of 2,055 surveys were completed with Canadian adults between
September 4th and September 13th 2007, using the Harris Decima online panel. A
sample of 2,055 respondents provides estimated proportions that are accurate
to within, at most, +/- 2.2% at the 95% confidence level. That is, 95 times
out of 100, the real value of the variable in the total population will lie
within +/- 2.2% of the estimated proportions provided by the sample. One time
out of 20, the real value of the variable in the population will fall outside
this range.

    Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering
personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of over 4,100
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 banking 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 over
$123 billion in total assets under management.

For further information:

For further information: Ron Arnst, Investors Group, (204) 956-3364,; Teresa Pagnutti, Environics Communications,
(416) 969-2721,

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