BUSINESS

How Do Canadians React When Markets Tank? They Don't Panic, For One Thing

09/08/2015 08:38 EDT | Updated 09/08/2015 08:59 EDT
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TORONTO -- So who is panicking amid the current volatility on global equity markets? Apparently not most Canadian retail investors, according to a new survey issued by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

CIBC says the survey, conducted Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 after some two weeks of extreme volatility on the markets, found that 85 per cent of Canadian investors polled didn't panic during the dramatic ups and downs.

However, the poll also found differences between the reactions of younger and older investors and between men and women.

Among the respondents, those over age 55 were more comfortable with riding out market volatility than investors aged 18 to 34 -- 82 per cent versus 57 per cent. Male investors were also more likely than female investors to wait out the turmoil, by a margin of 79 per cent to 67 per cent.

The survey also found that Canadians, as a rule, do not overreact to wild market swings, with 73 per cent saying volatility doesn't affect the way they manage investments.

But even there the survey highlighted some differences, with 77 per cent of those working with an adviser staying invested compared with 65 per cent of self-directed investors.

"While the markets have been whip-sawing investors for the last few weeks, it's good to see that the vast majority of Canadians have resisted the temptation to bail out of the market,'' said David Scandiffio, president, CIBC Asset Management.

"Market fluctuations are a normal part of investing,'' he said, adding that "market research has consistently shown us that investors who stay invested over the long-term outperform those who don't.''

The online poll was conducted among 1,504 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.