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Press Kits - Investing - 2008 Fall Investment

Media Room

For Canadian women, freedom from debt means financial success

  • Twice as many define success as being debt-free than those who say it is having enough money for retirement, according to TD Waterhouse Female Investor Poll
  • Taking action is the key to feeling financially successful
  • Westerners are more likely to have a financial plan than Easterners

TORONTO, Nov. 13 - How do Canadian women define financial success? According to the 2008 TD Waterhouse Female Investor Poll, 37% of Canadian women say being debt-free is the definition of financial success, while only half as many define financial success as "having enough money for retirement" (17%). Short-term achievements such as "having money to buy anything I want" (23%) also outrank retirement savings as a measure of financial success.

The most common step that women take to reach their financial goals is to follow a budget to manage their spending (55%). This compares with only 25% who have sought investment advice from a professional advisor.

"The fact that most women concentrate on short-term planning, budgeting and goal-setting is not surprising, it may be an even more natural response in times of economic turmoil," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse. "While getting your spending under control is important, it's not enough. Without a long-term investment plan, we cannot achieve a comfortable, worry-free retirement."

Over nine in 10 female investors who consider themselves financially successful are actively engaged in some action to achieve success. Those women who feel successful are significantly more likely to take each of the following steps than those who feel unsuccessful:

Feel Successful Feel Unsuccessful
Feel Successful Feel Unsuccessful
Pay off your credit cards in full every month to avoid paying interest 58% 20%
Contribute regularly to an RRSP 50% 21%
Save/invest through a pre-authorized automatic savings or investment plan 38% 18%
Seek investment advice from a professional advisor 37% 10%
Contribute the maximum possible amount each year to your RRSP 16% 3%
Read the financial pages of your newspaper 13% 3%
Follow the stock market 11% 1%

For Lovett-Reid, developing an investment strategy can go a long way in making women feel more successful about their finances. "Contrary to what some women might believe, getting more engaged in the world of investing provides a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. Burying our heads in the sand does not."

More Key Findings:

  • The incidence of women having a formal financial plan declines from west to east. 31% of BC and Prairies poll respondents have a financial plan compared with 23% for Ontario, 19% for Quebec, and 18% for Atlantic Canada. The national average is 24%.
  • As women age, their attention naturally shifts from debt reduction to consumption. More say they see success in such things as "having money to buy anything I want or need" (31% of those aged 56-69 vs. a 23% average for all age categories) and "having money to travel" (18% of those aged 56-69 vs. 13% average).
  • More than three-quarters of women (76%) have their own investment assets, and the average value of their personal investment portfolios is $73,100.
  • Three-in-four women think that men invest differently than women:
    • (41%) believe the difference is explained by women's lower risk tolerance;
    • Nearly one-quarter feel that women are simply more cautious, careful, or hesitant.
  • The perception that women are more conservative, less comfortable investors has consistently dominated women's perceptions of the difference between male and female investors since 2005. That said, women are increasingly saying that different viewpoints and family priorities are what trigger different female and male investment behaviour.

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,