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Canadians remain committed to saving and investing with RRSPs and TFSAs

Investment intentions firm despite stock market volatility, according to Investors Group poll

Winnipeg, MB – December 1, 2011 – Most Canadians say they plan to keep investing at least as much in RRSPs as they did last year, despite recent volatility in North American and global stock markets. Eight-of-ten (83 per cent) Canadians who plan to invest say they will increase or match their 2010 RRSP contribution. That’s up slightly from the 79 percent of Canadians who reported similar intentions last year. Three-quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians say they have an RRSP or plan to open one in the coming year. That’s similar to the 74 per cent last year.

Among those who say they don’t plan to invest, concern about stock market volatility remains near last year’s level. Ten per cent said concern about the stock market was the reason they have decided not to invest this year compared to 9 per cent last year.

“Canadians have used RRSPs as the cornerstone of their personal investment and savings plan for many years and it is encouraging to see this level of continued commitment,” said Jack Courtney, Assistant Vice-President, Advanced Financial Planning, Investors Group. “Keeping your long term objectives in mind is very important when making investing decisions and a personal financial plan is a definite asset in that regard.”

Canadians who have a financial plan are more likely to already have or intend to establish an RRSP (88 per cent), compared with those who do not have a financial plan (64 per cent). They are also more likely to already have or plan to start a TFSA (78 per cent compared to 58 per cent).

TFSAs growing strong

TFSA ownership in Canada has reached the 50 per cent mark according to the survey. That’s up from the 45 per cent of Canadians who said they had a TFSA last year. Since introduction in 2009, TFSA ownership has doubled from 25 per cent who said they had a TFSA that year.

Of those who still do not have a TFSA, 25 per cent say they plan to open one in 2012 – the same as last year.

Young Canadians are catching up

While young Canadians (age 18 to 29) continue to trail baby boomers (age 45 to 64) in RRSP ownership, they appear to be more aggressive in their investment intentions. Fifty-four per cent of Gen Y Canadians say they currently own an RRSP or plan to open one in the next year, compared to 83 per cent of boomers. But many more younger Canadians say they plan to increase their RRSP contribution (48 per cent) compared to their boomer elders (27 per cent).

Among young Canadians who are not planning an RRSP investment, a majority say they don’t have money to invest after paying their bills (64 per cent). But one-in-five (22 per cent) say they have decided to pay down their mortgage and other loans instead of investing.

“Getting an early start in the game is crucial for long-term success,” Courtney said. “It appears that many young Canadians recognize this and are trying to find ways to invest regularly while meeting life’s ongoing financial obligations. While finding the money to invest can be difficult, starting small and establishing good saving and investing habits early in life can lead to big returns.”

About the Survey Methodology
This Harris/Decima Poll was conducted online within Canada between October 20 and November 1, 2011 among 2,829 adults (aged 18 and over). Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris/Decima surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris/Decima panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Investors Group
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 over $121 billion as of October 31, 2011, in total assets under management.

For more information contact:

Ron Arnst
Media Relations
(204) 956-3364
ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com