Most RRSP investors unfazed by market volatility, says poll

By Donna Glasgow | January 27 2008 03:27PM

Sixty per cent of RRSP investors are not concerned by stock market volatility, according to the 18th annual RBC RRSP poll. In addition, the poll found that 49% of Canadians plan to contribute into their registered retirement savings plans this year, a percentage which remains unchanged from 2006.

Among the 40% of those polled who are worried about market volatility, more than half (54%) stayed the course and did not make changes to their investments, reported RBC in a summary of the poll results released publicly on Dec. 14.

"Investment discipline pays off in the long run and it’s great to see that Canadians are making decisions that will help keep their RRSP plans on track," said Kim Buitenhuis, vice-president, RBC Asset Management Inc. "We believe investing should be based on core principles that can help you succeed in all types of markets, regardless of what happens during a given day, week or month."

While it is also advisable for many Canadians to maximize their RRSP contributions, only three in ten plan to do so for the 2007 tax year, reported RBC. For some, finding the cash for a single lump sum RRSP contribution is a challenge.


• More than two in three Canadians have an RRSP (68%), up from 57% in 2002.

• Nearly half of Canadians (49%) have contributed to or plan to contribute to an RRSP for the 2007 tax year. This figure is unchanged from 2006.

• Many Canadians are waiting until the last minute to contribute to their RRSPs. Nearly one in three (32%) of those who plan to but have not yet made an RRSP contribution expect to do so just before February 29, the 2008 deadline.

• The average planned RRSP contribution for the 2007 tax year is $5,967, which has doubled since 1993 ($2,866).

• Among Canadians who have an RRSP, the average value of their personal RRSPs is $72,481. This figure is highest in B.C. ($88,534) and lowest in Quebec ($49,621). Those over 55 have an average of $102,628 in their RRSPs.

• Only three in ten Canadians plan to maximize their RRSP contribution for the 2007 tax year.

• Only one in three RRSP investors (33%) are making regular contributions through a plan.

• Mutual funds remain the most popular RRSP investment choice for the 2007 tax year. More than half of the RRSP investors polled
(55%) plan to make their RRSP contribution by purchasing mutual funds.

• Most Canadians (58%) get the help of a professional financial advisor when making decisions about their RRSPs and other investments and among those who are over 55 years of age, this figure rises to 66%.

• More than one in ten Canadians (13%) plan to use a discount brokerage to make their RRSP contribution.

The 18th Annual RBC RRSP Poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid from October 23 to November 5, 2007. The telephone survey was based on responses from a random sample of 1,200 Canadian adults (aged 18 and over). (DG)

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