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As the conversation on embedded commissions continues, new data from StatsCan shed light on Canadian incomes — data that concurs with the description of mass-market households as described in CSA’s proposal.

Read: UPDATED: Read the OSC’s embedded commissions roundtable agenda

The median total income of Canadian households was $70,336 in 2015, reveals StatsCan census data released today.

Though that represents a 10.8% increase in income during the decade, nine of Canada’s 152 metropolitan areas saw median incomes fall (eight in Ontario and one in Quebec).

As cited in CSA’s proposal, research shows that mass-market households (defined as those with income up to $100K) and mid-market households ($100K to $500K) make up the largest share of households owning investment funds.

Specifically, 39% of all households that owned investment funds in 2012 were mass-market households (and 22% of mass-market households held investment funds).

StatsCan’s confirmation that Canadians have relatively modest incomes — that in some cases are shrinking — is a reminder of why the industry developed embedded commissions. Manufacturers argue deferred sales charges, for example, are a form of financing for clients unable to afford to pay an advisor directly for front-end work.

CSA’s proposal clearly lays out the potential impact on mass-market households if embedded commissions are banned. With many investors potentially impacted, those effects are well worth understanding.

Further details from StatsCan

The 10.8% increase in median income, which compares to 9.2% growth in the previous decade and a 1.8% decline in the decade before that, was led by growth in resource-rich regions, led by Nunavut and Saskatchewan.

Median income growth was slowest in Ontario and Quebec, the two provinces with the largest populations and significant manufacturing activity, which has been on the decline.

For example, according to the Labour Force Survey, the manufacturing sector in Ontario lost 318,000 jobs from 2005 to 2015, and was down 30.0% from 2005. (Employment in all industries grew by about 8.5% in Ontario from 2005 to 2015.) Factors contributing to manufacturing’s decline include technological change, globalization, lower exchange rates and low productivity,

The low income rate was relatively stable over the last decade, rising marginally from 14.0% in 2005 to 14.2% in 2015.

Also read:

Advisors who don’t discuss fees risk losing clients: survey

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Originally published on Advisor.ca
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