Investors putting retirements at risk

By Staff | February 13, 2015 | Last updated on February 13, 2015
2 min read

Most Canadians (80%) say they need annual returns of 4% or higher to reach their retirement savings goals, finds a new CIBC Asset Management poll.

Yet, nearly 70% of those polled primarily hold guaranteed investment products since they’re wary of markets.


“Fear is still affecting investment decisions and keeping Canadians from meeting their goal[s],” says Steve Fiorelli, managing director at CIBC Asset Management. “The disconnect between investors’ return expectations and portfolio allocations could be a barrier, especially as we see continued downward pressure on interest rates.”

Read: Make way for centenarians, for more on the changing retirement landscape

Fiorelli adds the sharp increase in market volatility since oil prices collapsed has amplified people’s markets fears. But, he notes, investors should consider that Canada’s main market still managed to return 10.6%, including dividends, in 2014.


Further, looking over the past decade, the S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index posted an annualized return of 7.6%.

“For investors very close to retirement or those with low risk tolerances, a guaranteed product is an option,” says Fiorelli. Those with longer time horizons, though, must look for alternative options.

Read: Help clients secure their retirements

Key poll findings

The main reasons Canadians aren’t considering riskier investments and allocation mixes are:

  • more than half (67%) are afraid of losing their capital and/or original investments;
  • about one in ten investors (9%) find riskier investments are too complex;
  • the same number (9%) aren’t aware of their portfolio options; and
  • a small group of those polled (5%) want to avoid extra fees, while 3% are too close to retirement.

Below is a breakdown of what those polled expect to invest in over the next few years.

Preferred investment mix
Stocks, including mutual funds holding stocks 42%
GICs, savings accounts or other guaranteed investments 42%
Bonds, including mutual funds holding bonds 12%
Exchange-traded funds 5%


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