Even 10 years after the financial crisis, many Canadian investors still don’t feel secure, according to a new survey by Natixis Investment Managers.
More than half (59 per cent) of Canadian investors said they blame market volatility for undermining their ability to reach their savings and retirement goals. This compared to 53 per cent of U.S. respondents and 62 per cent of investors globally.
“One of the things we need to understand for individuals is how they look at volatility,” says Dave Goodsell, executive director of the Natixis Center for Investor Insight. “You talk to investment professionals, they’ll often say, ‘look, volatility is an opportunity.’ Very few actually see it that way on the individual side.”
According to the survey, just 22 per cent of Canadian respondents said volatility creates opportunity. On the other hand, 70 per cent of respondents said they recognize that sudden 10 per cent fluctuations in the market are a normal part of investing and 48 per cent said they view this kind of volatility as something they have to endure. Some 20 per cent of respondents think they have to avoid volatility altogether, while 10 per cent admitted they don’t understand the effects of volatility on their investment performance.
“If you’re managing pension money or a retirement plan, it’s important to understand that might be a key source of anxiety when markets turn the way they have,” says Goodsell, emphasizing that it’s important to reiterate the fundamental decisions that went into selecting the investments.
In the survey, Canadians also weighed in on active versus passive investing, demonstrating that many are confusing low fees with greater value. Two-thirds (63 per cent) of respondents said they know the difference between active and passive investing, but Goodsell believes the results of other questions in the survey show there are key misunderstandings about this.
The vast majority (94 per cent) of survey respondents said they consider fees an important consideration when they’re selecting investments, while 53 per cent said they recognize that passive investments, such as index funds, tend to have lower fees. Meanwhile, 55 per cent of respondents believe index funds are less risky than other investments, and 62 per cent said they think index funds can help to minimize losses.
“I think it’s an education point. I think there’s been a lot of discussion about the merits of active, the merits of passive and we need to just be clear that people are receiving the right messages and understanding it, particularly if you’re counting on passive for risk management,” says Goodsell.