Gateway Gazette

More Albertans Feeling the Effects of Lower Oil Prices: ATB Investor Beat

Edmonton — While the price of oil has shown some modest recovery in the last few weeks, the number of Albertans who say they’ve been affected by lower commodity prices is also on the rise. According to the latest ATB Investor Beat survey, 52 per cent of Albertans are feeling the effects of the low price of oil, up from 49 per cent three months earlier.

“We’ve seen oil prices go up and down during the last year,” said Chris Turchansky, President of ATB Investor Services. “These survey results are a reminder that we’re not out of the woods just yet. And when we emerge from the woods, the world is going to look a little bit different than it did before.”

“Don’t let fluctuations prompt you into making short-term decisions,” added Turchansky. “If possible, stick to your long-term goals and, remember, diversify your portfolio.”

The Investor Beat also discovered that those under the age of 55 (Gen Xers and Millennials) are significantly more likely to say they’ve been affected than those 55 and older (Baby Boomers).

And as the economy remains sluggish, Albertans continue to adjust their spending habits. Of those surveyed, 46 per cent said they have reduced spending, 23 per cent said they have changed vacation plans, 19 per cent have put off a major purchase and 17 per cent have stopped regular contributions to savings and/or investments.

Despite the effects of low oil prices, Millennials (18-34 years of age) are the most optimistic group of Albertans when it comes to their feelings on saving and/or investing. Thirty-five per cent of Millennials are feeling optimistic compared to 23 per cent of Gen Xers and 29 per cent of Baby Boomers. Overall, 29 per cent of Albertans are positive about saving and/or investing, down from 34 per cent in the previous Investor Beat.

“It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that more Millennials feel good about saving and investing during uncertain times,” added Turchansky. “We find younger investors are more adaptive to change than other, more established investors.”

Over half of Albertans surveyed (51%) believed it’s a good time to save, while 20 per cent said the time is right to invest. Men (26 per cent) are more likely than women (15 per cent) to have a positive view on investing at this time.

Meanwhile, fewer Albertans had a negative outlook on the national and provincial economies. The latest Investor Beat showed 21 per cent of Albertans believed the Canadian economy will be much worse six months from now, compared to 26 per cent in the previous survey. When it comes to Alberta, 34 per cent of respondents said the province’s economy would be much worse six months from now, down from 44 per cent three months earlier.

For the complete Investor Beat survey results, please click here.

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