Wealthy Canadians not an Arrogant Lot

April 29, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Wealthy Canadians are a pretty unassuming lot, according to the picture emerging from an RBC Investments/Ipsos-Reid poll that set out to measure how monied Canadians view their wealth.

According to the poll of the wealthiest 20% of Canadian households:

  • 5% of all respondents and a quarter of those with $1 million or more described themselves as wealthy,
  • some 85% of those responding said they were “comfortable”, and
  • 86% said their most important financial goal was having enough for a comfortable retirement

‘Average’ Level of Financial Knowledge

The rich Canadians also aren’t likely to boast about their investment or general financial prowess, according to the survey. For example:

  • some 48% said they had an “average” level of investment/financial knowledge,
  • eight out of 10 get professional financial help,
  • 64% admit relying heavily on such advice,
  • a scant 5% say they venture out into financial matters entirely on their own, and
  • a third say they use the Internet for financial research

The Mutual Fund Craze

Wealthy investors north of the border certainly appear to participate heavily in the mutual fund craze that has been so popular in the US. Some 85% of respondents say they have mutual funds in their portfolios while half say those funds are the top investments they own.

As far as the individual equity market, 17% of wealthy Canadians hold individual stocks while that number rises significantly to 37% among millionaire respondents. 

Nearly half of respondents have a formal financial plan, which nearly six in ten have adjusted in light of recent market volatility, according to the survey.

Demographically, survey participants were:

  • male, 56%
  • between 35 and 54 years old, 53%.

While among the millionaires:

  • 79% were male, and
  • 55% were over 55 years old

The poll, conducted in February, comprised telephone interviews with 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age or older with more than $100,000 in household financial assets excluding principal residence, property, jewelry, or artwork.