Canadians optimistic amid volatility

By Andrew Rickard | January 28 2016 09:55AM

While about half of Canadians believe the markets will continue to be volatile for the rest of the year, about the same number expect to see their investments grow.

A poll conducted for BMO Bank of Montreal found that 53% of investors feel market volatility will remain the same or worsen in 2016, but 48% think the value of their portfolio will increase. However, the survey also revealed that many investors are taking a cautious approach; 44% are looking for safe solutions and 54% admit they have been influenced by the volatile market. 50% also said they were checking their portfolios more often.

"It is prudent for investors to take a cautious approach with their investment portfolios in 2016 given the current state of the market," comments Paul Taylor, senior vice-president and chief investment officer of asset allocation at BMO Global Asset Management Canada. "While investors may feel the need to adjust their investment strategy given volatile markets, a more sound approach is to establish a long-term strategy that is consistent with personal objectives and constraints and is constructed to weather capital markets volatility."

Asked if they were investing more money or looking for new investment opportunities, only 17% said they were doing so. As for what kinds of investments Canadians hold, mutual funds were the most popular investment, used by 52% of respondents, while 39% owned stocks and 37% held GICs. And where do people buy their investments? According to the BMO survey, two thirds of Canadian investors turn to professionals for advice at least once a year, with 26% of that same group doing so at least quarterly.

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