North America’s wealthy better off than before crisis

By Staff | October 3, 2013 | Last updated on October 3, 2013
2 min read

Fifty-four percent of wealthy Canadians – those with investible assets of $1 million or more – and 61% of wealthy Americans believe they are more financially secure today than before the 2008 recession, according to a study by BMO Harris Private Banking.

Read: Take the pulse of New York’s wealthy

Only 11% of wealthy Canadians say they are worse off; 36% report their financial situation is unchanged. Only 7% of wealthy Americans stated they are worse off.

The study also revealed that almost half (47%) of wealthy Canadians expect Canada’s economy to improve in 2013; 61% are optimistic about what the future holds for the U.S. economy. Fifty-five percent expect to see gains in Asia and one-in-five (19%) expect the financial situation in Europe to improve.

Read: Wealthy investors confident about finances

Affluent Americans are more optimistic about what the future holds for the Canadian economy than their neighbours up north, with 61% stating they expect increased prosperity for Canada.

The study also found 86% of wealthy Canadians say they are quite comfortable with their current savings and investment plan. Seventy percent expect stocks to generate the most solid returns over the next five years, well ahead of real estate (39%), bonds (24%) and cash (19%).

Canada’s affluent are most bullish about the financial (76%) and energy (75%) sectors, but are apprehensive about the manufacturing (30%) sector. This differs from their American counterparts who feel more positive about the technology/IT (80% Americans vs. 64% Canadians) and manufacturing (50% vs. 30%) sectors.

Read: Wealthy focus on savings after recession, says study

Additionally, the study shows that affluent Canadians are returning to pre-recession spending levels. They are currently spending more than, or the same as, they did prior to September 2008 in a variety of areas, including:

  • Entertainment and leisure activities (89%)
  • Travel and vacations (86%)
  • Club memberships (78%)
  • Clothing and accessories (75%)
  • Collections and hobbies (72%)

Regional Breakdown:

Region % who feel that they are better off today than before Sept 2008 % who feel good about their current savings and investment plan % who expect the Canadian economy to improve % who expect the U.S. economy to improve
National 54 86 47 61
Atlantic 60 87 57 77
Quebec 56 86 48 74
Ontario 46 86 45 55
Alberta 53 87 42 50
B.C. 64 87 45 57 staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.