Edmonton— Despite uncertainty in energy markets and volatility in the stock markets, only 10 per cent of Albertans feel now is a bad time to invest or add to their savings. That’s according to the first-ever edition of ATB Investor Services’ Investor Beat survey.
“Since we conducted the survey in July, the markets have shown increasing volatility, which has been based more on emotion than on economic fundamentals,” says Chris Turchansky, President of ATB Investor Services. “We’ve been encouraging our clients to stay the course with their long-term investment plan and not push the panic button. Albertans are being patient and that’s always the best strategy in times like these.”
With that in mind, optimism in the markets is high among Albertans. Ninety-five per cent of men and 94 per cent of women feel investing and/or saving in the next three to six months will be better or the same as it is now. In fact, 84 per cent of Albertans currently have some form of savings and/or investments. Younger Albertans (aged 18 to 34) tend to keep more of their savings in cash products while Albertans 35 and over prefer mutual funds, stocks and bonds.
Even with a high level of optimism, the retirement challenge is very real for Albertans with 49 per cent of those polled saying they are saving for retirement. Of that group, 40 per cent feel they are behind on that goal.
The lower price of oil has had an impact on Alberta investors. Of the 42 per cent who said they have been affected by lower oil prices, 18 per cent have stopped contributing regularly to their savings and investments while 17 per cent have withdrawn some of their long-term savings, both due to lower oil prices.
“Many Albertans are struggling with balancing living for today and saving for the future,” says Turchansky. “It’s our responsibility to make it as easy as possible for Albertans to start saving and planning. Investing and financial planning can be complex and it’s our job to give Albertans access to approachable, clear information to empower and support their investing decisions.”
Similar to its cousin, the ATB Business Beat, Investor Beat was created to take a regular pulse of Alberta investors and gain an even more comprehensive understanding of the marketplace. Every three months, Investor Beat will gauge investor confidence and behaviour in light of social and economic factors. Investor Beat is the first regularly-conducted survey of its kind specific to Alberta.
For the complete Investor Beat survey results, visit ATB.com/InvestorBeat.