Overwhelmed and intimidated: Many Canadians say they’re anxious about investing on their own
We live in a digital world, but according to a recent TD survey, many Canadians are reluctant to engage in online, do-it-yourself (DIY) investing. Only one in 10 people feel very comfortable investing on their own, and just one fifth of Canadians are currently DIY investors, even though half said they would like to be able to do it themselves online.
The survey also found that many Canadians feel a high level of anxiety about investing, saying the idea makes them nervous, overwhelmed and intimidated. There is also a widespread lack of knowledge about how to invest or trade online, or where to find educational resources to help them.
“Most people have financial goals and are interested in investing, but very few seem to have a high degree of confidence in their ability to do so,” says Paul Clark, President, Direct Investing and EVP, TD Bank Group. “Our research found that almost 40 per cent of people who don’t feel confident have never sought out resources to learn about personal finance or investing.”
Clark says goal setting is an important first step for individuals to gain the confidence needed to invest online. It ties financial success to real-life personal and lifestyle aspirations, and guides clients to adjust their investment approach so that they can reach the goals they’re trying to achieve. “Many investors lack this clarity, and therefore feel uncertain about their financial future,” he adds.
When asked about their reasons for investing, survey respondents ranked retirement first (65 per cent), followed by purchasing a new home (36 per cent), taking a vacation (34 per cent) and buying a new car (28 per cent). Renovating a current home (25 per cent) and saving for education (23 per cent) were also listed as important financial goals.
In order to help Canadians establish a more confident approach to saving and investing, TD Direct Investing created GoalAssist™: a free, online, interactive investment planning tool. The tool is embedded within WebBroker, and helps clients build financial confidence by providing a goal setting and tracking option, alongside other relevant, educational tools.
“Direct Investing GoalAssist’s innovative design is highly accessible and easy to use, and it can help investors of all levels to become more confident when managing finances and planning for the future,” says Clark. “Plus, it’s a tool that allows them to evolve their plan over time, as their financial situation and needs change.”
Clark adds that seeking knowledge about investing and the markets is key for customers interested in gaining the confidence to take control of their financial future. In addition, people can build confidence as a self-directed investor and learn at their own pace, in their own home, using the multitude of free online resources that TD provides. For example, TD Direct Investing’s free investor education libraries, among the largest in Canada, include videos, Master Class online workshops, live webinars and reports.
Regardless of your financial knowledge, TD offers the following tips to help you become a more confident investor:
- Set goals: Investing makes sense for a variety of reasons, either short-term (such as a vacation, furniture for your home or a new car) or long-term (such as for education and training, starting a business or a comfortable retirement). As your finances and needs change, your goals may change, too.
- Choose your timeline: Set this along with your goals. If you think about when you’d like to use the money you’ve invested, it will help you establish a plan for how much to invest, and what types of investments you’ll need to get you there.
- Any amount will do: You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. Nearly 30 per cent of Canadians believe you need more than $1,000 to get started. Investing even small amounts can have big benefits over time.
- Start early: You’re never too young to have financial goals, or to start investing to reach them. Don’t be among the two-thirds of Canadians who regret not having started investing at an earlier age.
- Don’t stop: People invest for all sorts of reasons, and at all stages of their lives. Even if you’re investing to have a comfortable retirement, you’ll still need to fund the things you want to do and buy after you stop working. A long-term investment strategy can help you do that.
- Educate yourself: Take advantage of free, online educational resources to learn more about saving, investing and planning to help you achieve your goals. Statistics show that people who actively educate themselves are more likely to set financial goals and to stick to their financial plans.
SOURCE TD Bank Group