More women and young people plan to invest online

There isn’t a ‘typical’ online investor anymore.

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Online only.

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One in four Canadians purchase investments online, a new survey for TD suggests. While men still make up about two-thirds of online investors, a growing number of women (41%) say they intend to open an online brokerage account compared to just 29% in 2011, according to the poll. The same goes for younger people. Canadians under the age of 35 make up only 9% of online brokerage users today but represent one of the largest cohorts of respondents who plan to enroll (25%).

“There isn’t a ‘typical’ online investor anymore,” said TD’s Calvin MacInnis in a press release Monday.  “As technology has evolved, people have gained the tools, information and confidence to help them take control of their investments, and that means we’re seeing a much broader range of clients turning to online investing.”

As you would expect, they’re not all super wealthy either.

“Industry research has also shown that people with under $100,000 in assets are, in fact, the most likely to be planning to open an online brokerage account,” said TD’s Tony Ierullo.

Advances in technology coupled with the ever-growing TFSA mean savers of all ages simply have more choice and more incentive to grow their wealth beyond the paltry interest rates that basic savings accounts are offering. The only thing stopping more Canadians from getting in on the action, TD suggests, is lack of knowledge. Nearly a third of people who don’t invest online say it’s because they don’t know enough, the poll found.

“With knowledge comes confidence, so it’s important that self-directed investors—and those interested in getting started—educate themselves on the options available to them and have the tools they need to research and monitor their investments,” Ierullo said.

Whether you’re ready to take the plunge into DIY investing or looking for more guidance (in the form of managed funds or a financial planner) MoneySense has resources that can help.

Watch for our 2nd annual Canada’s Best Discount Brokerages ranking in forthcoming June 2014 issue of MoneySense. In the meantime, here’s a link to our directory of fee-only planners and Dan Bortolotti’s 9 steps to the perfect ETF portfolio.

On my spring to-do list is revamping my small but growing TFSA. Until now, it’s mostly been stuffed with high-interest savings accounts and an index mutual fund but I’m ready for more. My dividend stocks, for instance, are sitting outside the warm tax shelter of the TFSA. Like me, they’re sick of the cold. Bring on the sunshine.

TD commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online custom survey of 6,015 Canadians aged 18 years and older. Responses were collected between February 11 and 25, 2014.  Additional industry research was conducted by Ipsos Reid as part of its 2013 Online Brokerage Report which surveyed 2001 online brokerage users between June 14 and June 28, 2013. 

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