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Investors look abroad

By Andrew Rickard | February 26 2016 09:50AM

Many Canadians say they are planning to invest their retirement funds internationally this year. They are also interested in alternative asset classes.

A poll conducted for CIBC shows that 41% of Canadians plan to invest their retirement savings in stocks or mutual funds outside of Canada this year, up from 31% who gave this response last year. Asked where in particular they plan to put their money, 15% per cent want to add exposure to the U.S., 15% said intend to invest in emerging markets, and 11% are looking to invest in developed markets.

Due to market volatility and the low Canadian dollar, the survey also revealed that 22% of investors are considering alternative asset classes such as real estate or infrastructure as a way to diversify and gain exposure to growth. Another 26% of the respondents said they want to learn more about alternative investments.

"While it's natural for investors to have a 'home bias' by overweighting your portfolio to domestic stocks, taking a Canada-only approach can hurt returns," says Luc de la Durantaye, managing director of asset allocation and currency management at CIBC Asset Management. "With resources and financials the two biggest weights in Canada's equity markets, it's important that investors diversify their holdings both geographically and between asset classes to help them meet their long-term investment goals."

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