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Press Kits - Investing - 2008 Fall Investment

Media Room

Canadian women less confident, more concerned about investing

  • TD Waterhouse Female Investor Poll finds more than half (54%) worried about investments vs. 47% last year
  • Despite growing concerns, few seek professional investment advice or develop a plan
  • Those with a financial plan feel significantly more financially successful

TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Canadian women investors are less confident today than a year ago, but this concern is not leading to action, says the 2008 TD Waterhouse Female Investor Poll, a comprehensive annual study of Canadian women's attitudes towards investing.

"Our poll results indicate that female investor confidence has declined year-over year and that women are becoming more conservative and risk-averse," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse. "But this worry is not yet translating into greater involvement in the world of investing."

Researchers used a simple formula (Engagement + Satisfaction = Confidence) to analyze responses to two specific questions: how engaged are you in investing, and how do you feel about your investments. From the data gathered, they arrived at a 'Confidence Map' of the Canadian female investor. This year's map shows significantly more women are concerned about their investments than they were in 2007 (54% vs. 47%).

Two-thirds of women (67%) describe themselves as "detached" from investing; that is, paying little or no attention to financial markets and having little, if any, involvement with investing. While this is consistent with last year's findings (70%), a higher proportion of the "detached" group this year are more concerned about the state of their investments (40% in 2008 vs. 36% in 2007).

"With the waning confidence of Canadian women investors, it is surprising that more than three-in-four Canadian women still don't have a formal financial plan. Such a plan is the first and most important step to getting one's financial house in order and developing a long-term strategy for success."

The poll results indicate a significant relationship between having a plan and feeling financially successful. For those who have a plan, 82% feel very or somewhat successful about their finances. Only 48% of those women who have no financial plan feel the same way.

"What these results tell us is that there is a direct correlation between having a financial plan and financial peace of mind," says Lovett-Reid. "The real question for Canadian women investors is whether current economic conditions will cause them to become even more detached from the world of investing, or whether it will finally encourage them to become more engaged, to seek professional advice and to build a long-term plan. In my view, a higher level of engagement would not only give women investors a sense of purpose and empowerment in these anxious times, but would also significantly improve their long-term financial prospects."

More Key Findings:

  • Almost two-thirds of women (65%) say that the long-term goal of saving for a comfortable retirement is "very important." Despite this, only 20% are "very confident" they will be able to save enough to ensure a comfortable standard of living in retirement and only 25% have sought professional investment advice.
  • The 2008 results also show a sharp rise in the number of women who say they are taking less risk when they invest. In the years 2005, 2006 and 2007, those who reported taking less risk held steady at 7%. In 2008, the percentage jumped more than two-fold to 15%.
  • Most poll respondents do not appear to have an organized strategy for achieving financial success, focusing instead on short-term goals and actions:
  • 41% pay off their credit cards in full each month to avoid paying interest;
  • 37% contribute regularly to an RRSP;
  • 25% have sought investment advice from a professional advisor;
  • Just 7% follow the stock market.

On a positive note, more female investors are now following a budget to manage their spending (55% vs. 50% in 2007). "While it is encouraging to see more women involved in budgeting household spending, I would like to see more of them moving beyond this 'comfort zone' into serious long-term goal-setting and financial planning," adds Lovett-Reid. "It is the long-term plan and the consistent actions we take to achieve it that will propel us towards our most important life goals."

The national online poll was conducted between September 18-25, 2008 by TNS Canadian Facts among 1,094 Canadian women aged 25-69 who have sole or shared responsibility for household financial planning or investment decisions. It is a comprehensive annual study of Canadian women's attitudes towards investing.

About TNS
TNS is one of the world's leading market information groups, providing market measurement, analysis and insight through its operating companies in 70 countries. Working with national and multi-national organizations, we help our clients develop effective business strategies and enhance relationships with their customers. In Canada, TNS Canadian Facts provides full-service, primary market research. Its mission is to become clients' sixth sense of business(TM) by giving them a deeper understanding of their customers' behaviour, better anticipation of their actions and greater insight into what they really want. About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank (to be known together as TD Bank); and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$509 billion in assets as of July 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

For further information:

Maria Leung,