Canadian Securities Administrators 2017 Investor Index: Canadian investors show increasing optimism about their economic future, but significant investor education needs remain


Calgary – According to a new survey conducted for the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), 53 per cent of Canadian investors are optimistic about achieving their investment targets over the next year, compared with 39 per cent of investors in 2012.

However, more than half of Canadians (51 per cent) failed the general investment knowledge test included in the survey, highlighting the continued importance of the CSA's and its members' investor education initiatives.

The 2017 CSA Investor IndexThis link will open in a new window, which looked at investor behaviour and incidences of investment fraud affecting Canadians, also found that online investment advisers (sometimes referred to as "robo-advisers") are gaining popularity among Canadians, with 23 per cent reporting that they are likely to use one if they open a new account or move an existing one. Yet, only nine per cent of Canadian investors currently have an account with an online investment adviser, and just 16 per cent of Canadians are familiar with automated online investing services.

"It's encouraging news that Canadian investors are positive about their economic futures," says Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. "No matter how well the economy or their investments are performing, it's important that investors continue to understand their investments, know the risks involved and be aware of the red flags of investment fraud."

Other findings of the survey include:

  • Canadians continue to be approached with fraudulent investment opportunities, with 18 per cent believing they have been approached with a fraudulent investment opportunity. This is down slightly from 22 per cent in 2016.
  • More Canadians (43 per cent) are using some form of social media for investing information, up from 35 per cent in 2012. Specifically, Facebook (22 per cent in 2017 and 16 per cent in 2012) and YouTube (20 per cent in 2017 and 14 per cent in 2012) saw the largest increases in use.
  • Fewer Canadians who use financial advisers checked their background (29 per cent in 2017, down from 38 per cent in 2012). Those who did relied on the Internet, with just four per cent checking with their provincial regulator.

For the 2017 CSA Investor Index, Innovative Research Group interviewed 7,271 Canadian adults online between August 28 and October 2, 2017. Canadians were interviewed in both English and French. The online sample was weighted by age, gender, and province or territory using 2016 Statistics Canada Census data to reflect the actual demographic composition of the population.

The 2017 CSA Investor IndexThis link will open in a new window Key Highlights Report is available in both English and French on the CSA website. The key findings are also available on CSA members' websites.

The CSA has developed tools to help investors check registration and avoid investment fraud. These resources are available in the Investor Tools section of the CSA website and investors are encouraged to visit the site to learn more about making informed investment decisions.

The CSA, the council of securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. Their mandate is to protect investors from unfair or fraudulent practices through regulation of the securities industry. Part of this protection is educating investors about the risk, responsibilities and rewards of investing.

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For more information:

CSA member name

Point of contact

Phone number

Autorité des marchés financiers 

Sylvain Théberge


Alberta Securities Commission

Hilary McMeekin


British Columbia Securities Commission

Alison Walker 


Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan

Shannon McMillan


Financial and Consumer Services Commission, New Brunswick

Marissa Sollows


Government of Prince Edward Island, Superintendent of Securities

Steve Dowling


Manitoba Securities Commission

Jason (Jay) Booth


Nova Scotia Securities Commission

David C. Harrison


Nunavut Securities Office

Jeff Mason


Office of the Superintendent of Securities, Newfoundland and Labrador

Kimberly Ryan


Office of the Superintendent of Securities, Northwest Territories

Tom Hall


Office of the Yukon Superintendent of Securities

Rhonda Horte


Ontario Securities Commission

Kristen Rose