Canadians worried about money, health, and family during COVID-influenced RRSP season

Canadians worried about money, health, and family during COVID-influenced RRSP season

Annual survey conducted for Questrade reveals trends and investing shifts during pandemic

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As Canadians turn their attention to their investments during this COVID-influenced RRSP season, an annual study conducted by Leger ( ) on behalf of Questrade ( ) has unveiled some compelling findings regarding trends and changes Canadians are likely to make when investing.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to improving the financial security of Canadians, we set out to learn about what issues are currently top of mind, how they might impact investing, and what we can do to help investors on their journey to financial security,” says Edward Kholodenko, president and CEO, Questrade. “To no surprise, most respondents chose money, health and family as their top 3 worries. We also saw some behavioural trends to note.”

Investing trends & changing attitudes
Despite the pandemic, research showed that Canadians continue to be very committed to making contributions to their retirement savings, while evidence suggests investors are placing importance on ensuring their investments go farther.

  • 69% of respondents with an existing RRSP plan to contribute the same amount as last year (or more) to their RRSP this year, showing an unwavering commitment to their retirement
  • The number is even higher amongst those with a TFSA, with 85% planning to contribute more or the same amount to their TFSA as last year
  • 50% of those polled said given the impact and uncertainty during the pandemic, they are more likely to invest for the long term/for retirement
  • 44% of respondents are actively seeking lower fee options this RRSP season
  • 39% are investing more this year, to get better returns

“The findings may reflect the current low interest rate environment that we’re experiencing,” explains Mr. Kholodenko. “Of note, this year’s research showed continuing concern — and outright lack of knowledge — regarding fees, mutual funds, and the option of ETFs. This would strongly indicate the need for continuing education and awareness,” he adds.

The poll indicated that awareness of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as a viable investment option remains low even though ETFs typically have much lower fees, and that money invested in ETFs has risen quickly and begun to replace traditional investments in mutual funds.

Fees and mutual funds: a lack of knowledge

  • 51% of respondents agreed that a 2% fee for a mutual fund is high, while an additional 38 per cent said they did not know
  • Surprisingly, almost 1 in 2 of those who invest in mutual funds admitted they do not know what fees they pay for their mutual funds

ETFs: a viable investment option

  • 21% polled said they were more open to investing in ETFs
    • 11% said ETFs have lower fees so they can keep more of their money
    • 9% stated they have heard about ETFs recently and want to try investing and seeing how they perform
    • 6% believe ETFs are the new, better way of investing
  • 42% were not yet open to investing in ETFs
    • a majority stated their main reason was they are not familiar with what an ETF is
  • An additional 37% said they “do not know” if they are more open to ETFs

Shift to online investing ahead

  • 51% of those polled stated they were more likely to invest online this year versus physically going into a branch
  • 22% said they are likely to switch to an online investment provider versus a bank
    • This was twice as likely for those aged under 35 years

When asked why:

  • 48% polled said they do everything else online, so why not invest online as well
  • 34% said they need to make a better return on their money
  • 24% said they have more time on their hands to do it themselves
  • 20% were more comfortable because friends and family were investing online

“It’s likely we’ll see a much more pronounced shift to online investor behaviour this year, as indicated in both by our research and recent activity. What remains important is that investors are aware of their options and factors that impact their retirement in the long term, before making RRSP and TFSA contributions,” continues Mr. Kholodenko. He adds, “We remain committed to helping Canadians keep more of their money for retirement while securing their financial future.”

Research Methodology
An online survey of 1500 Canadians was completed between January 15 – 18, 2021, using Leger’s online panel. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e., a web panel in this case). For comparative purposes, a probability sample of 1500 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90%. Stringent quality assurance measures allow Leger to achieve the high quality standards set by the company. As a result, its methods of data collection and storage outperform the norms set by WAPOR (The World Association for Public Opinion Research). These measures are applied at every stage of the project: from data collection to processing, through to analysis.

About Questrade, Inc.
Questrade ( is Canada’s fastest growing online brokerage that is changing the Canadian financial services industry by leveraging technology to lower fees while providing a viable alternative to traditional financial investment options, thereby allowing Canadians to Keep More of their Money. As a leader and innovator in financial services, Questrade is a trusted ally that advocates for consumers, focused on improving value. With 21 years of challenging the status quo as Canada’s leading, non-bank online brokerage, $25 billion in assets under administration and more than 200,000 accounts opened every year, Questrade and its companies provide financial products and services: securities, foreign currency investment and online wealth management. Questrade has been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the ninth year in a row, achieving Platinum status. For more information visit or on social media @Questrade.

Questrade, Inc. is a registered investment dealer, a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

About Questrade Wealth Management, Inc.
Questrade Wealth Management Inc. (“QWM”) provides professional investment management services through Questwealth Portfolios ( QWM is an Exempt Market Dealer, Investment Fund Manager and Portfolio Manager. QWM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Questrade Financial Group Inc.

For more information, research statistics, visuals, or to arrange an interview with Questrade or Leger 360, please contact Susan Willemsen at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: 416-461-1567 or m. 416-402-4880. Email: [email protected] or visit and @thesirengroup.

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