Canadians divided on outlook and investment

The disparity between provinces regarding investment attitudes can be vast. While 51% of those in Quebec have a positive outlook on investing, the number is much lower in Alberta where only 29% believe that investing offers good opportunity.

Residents of the Prairie provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are also not very optimistic, with 49% in each province declaring that now is not the right to invest.

Top reasons to not invest

According survey data, the top reasons to not invest include: economic uncertainty (54%) and debt repayments (43%).

However, the majority of those surveyed (54%) who had a negative outlook on the economy would absolutely start reinvesting should conditions improve — with those living in Ontario most likely to jump back into investments (62%) when economic conditions get better.

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Top reasons to continue investing

While the Edward Jones' poll did find that many Canadians are putting their investment goals on hold, it also found that the Canadians who continued to invest are often doing so in order to achieve a specific financial goal. According to survey results, the goals that prompt ongoing investment include:

  • 64% are saving for long-term goals such as retirement, education, or homeownership
  • 37% are saving for short-term goals such as travel, major purchases, home repairs or renovations
  • 38% are looking to maximize tax advantages from investment vehicles such as RRSPs and FHSA

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Difference in outlook, based on gender

Turns out men had a more positive outlook than women, with 51% believing that now is the right time to invest, compared to only 35% of women who felt the same way.

The difference, however, was how each of the genders reacted to their positive sentiment. Turns out women are more motivated by financial goals, with 71% saving for long-term goals versus 59% of men. Additionally, 47% of women saving for short-term goals versus 31% of men.

The survey also found that Canadians who worked with a financial advisor tend to have a more positive outlook on the economy in general. Even among those polled who showed a negative view of investment, 41% that worked with a financial advisor had a positive view of their own finances compared to the 25% that had a negative outlook on their finances.

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Top ways to mitigate financial catastrophe

According to The Daily, a Statistics Canada report released in February 2023, a significant number of Canadians found it difficult to meet current economic obligations, nevermind potential financial emergencies with 1 in 4 Canadians unable to cover an unexpected expense of $500, while more than a third (35%) reporting that it was difficult for their household to meet its financial needs over the last 12 months.

While investing helps Canadians to achieve future financial goals, having a stash of cash for potential emergencies is the easiest and fastest way to tackle a potential hardship.

To create an emergency fund, consider putting aside $20 to $100 every paycheque — and use a high-interest savings account, where the interest earned helps mitigate the impact of inflation on your money's buying power. Good options include:

Survey methodology

The poll was conducted by Pollara through an online survey between May 14 to 17, 2024, where 1,003 Canadians aged 18 or older were asked about their perspective on the economy, investing and personal financial goals. A representative sample of this size would be considered accurate to within ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Results have been weighted using the latest Stats Can data to be representative of the Canadian population.

What to read next

This article Optimistic about the economy? Depends on where you live in Canada originally appeared on


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Nicholas completed his master's in journalism and communications at Western University. Since then, he's worked as a reporter at the Financial Post,, Sustainable Biz Canada and more. Aside from reporting, he also has experience in web production, social media management, photography and video production. His work can also be found in the Toronto Star, Yahoo Finance Canada, Electric Autonomy Canada and Exclaim among others.

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