IFIC releases 14th annual Canadian Investor Survey

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Annual survey expanded to include ETF investors

The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) and Pollara Strategic Insights today released the results of their annual survey of investors – the Canadian Mutual Fund and Exchange-Traded Fund Investor Survey. The survey, which has been expanded to include responses from both mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) investors, has been tracking investor attitudes, expectations and understanding since its inception in 2006.

This year’s survey features insights on a number of topics including confidence in mutual funds and ETFs, advisor satisfaction, use of online brokerages and robo-advisors, fee knowledge, and satisfaction with fee and performance statements.

“The Pollara research provides valuable insights that helps to inform and guide many of IFIC’s key policy initiatives over the year, and the addition of ETF data provides a more comprehensive understanding of the investment funds landscape,” said Paul Bourque, President and CEO, IFIC. “I’m pleased to see that knowledge of fees has shown a significant increase over the past two years, and we hope that the insights gained through our ongoing research will ultimately help firms evaluate and improve their disclosure practices.”

“The addition of the ETF investors in the study this year has provided interesting insights into the differences between these investor types,” stated Lesli Martin, Vice-President of Pollara Strategic Insights. “It is positive to see that, while investors are becoming more confident in their product choices, they are also becoming more discerning about the information they want to see.”

In recent years, the survey has been adapted to provide insights into client knowledge and behaviour following the introduction of CRM2 regulation. While confidence in knowledge of fees continues to increase among mutual fund investors, there has been a decline in those investors reporting that the statements are easy to understand, going from 82% in 2017 to 67% in 2019.

Key Findings:

  • Both mutual fund and ETF investors show a high level of confidence in the product and its ability to meet financial goals (91% and 88% respectively).
  • Investors have high levels of satisfaction with their advisor; 81% of mutual fund investors and 91% of ETF investors are satisfied or completely satisfied with the advice they receive and 85% of mutual fund investors and 87% of ETF investors agree that their advisor’s advice is worth the fees.
  • Among mutual fund investors, the incidence of fee discussions significantly increased in 2019, with 88% now reporting that they discussed at least one fee topic with their advisor.
  • Awareness of online brokerages among mutual fund investors has increased by 9% to reach 71% this year, though usage remains consistent at 29%; ETF investors are much more likely to have used them (67%).

Pollara conducted telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 randomly-selected mutual fund holders and 500 ETF holders who are eighteen years of age or older who make all or some of the decisions regarding investment purchases in their household.

To access the full Canadian Mutual Fund and Exchange-Traded Fund Investor Survey, please visit IFIC.ca or pollara.com.

To learn more, read the full report in English or Français.  

About IFIC

The Investment Funds Institute of Canada is the voice of Canada’s investment funds industry. IFIC brings together 150 organizations, including fund managers, distributors and industry service organizations, to foster a strong, stable investment sector where investors can realize their financial goals. By connecting Canada’s savers to Canada’s economy, our industry contributes significantly to Canadian economic growth and job creation.

For more information, please contact:

Pira Kumarasamy
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

Lesli Martin
Vice President, Public Affairs
Pollara Strategic Insights
416-921-0090 ext. 2207

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