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BMO InvestorLine

October 29, 2011 08:00 ET

BMO InvestorLine's Halloween Report: Optimism Remains Amid 'Spooky' Market Conditions

- Half of Canadian investors fear that economic challenges in the U.S. and Europe will spread to Canada

- Canadians are actively tracking their investments all year round

- The majority of Canadians feel their investments have been performing up to expectations this year

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2011) - With Halloween around the corner, BMO InvestorLine today announced the results of a new study revealing that over half of Canadian investors (53 per cent) are concerned that economic troubles in the U.S. and Europe will spread to Canada. The BMO study conducted by Leger Marketing also found a concern among one-third (31 per cent) of Canadians that there is no end in sight to the market volatility experienced in the last six months.

However, despite the recent fears, there is a bright side. News from Europe this week that a deal has been reached to stabilize the economy is providing optimism for investors.

"Overall, last night's agreement is a big step forward for Europe," said Benjamin Reitzes, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets, noting that financial markets are surging in response. "If there are no speed bumps – such as unexpected flare ups – over the next few months, this plan could be sufficient to contain the European crisis."

Furthermore, the study showed:

  • The majority of Canadian investors feel their investments have been performing up to expectations this year, with only 24 per cent stating that they fear their investments have not.
  • As well, 69 per cent of investors are paying close attention to their investments throughout the year*.

"Although Canadians are worried about the state of the economy, it is reassuring to know that they are monitoring their portfolios on a regular basis," said Cesar Rainusso, Vice President, BMO InvestorLine. "Regardless of the circumstances, staying on top of your investments is one of the most effective ways to ensure you can get through turbulent times."

Cesar Rainusso offers the following tips on how to manage the turbulent market:

  • Stay informed – By keeping on top of current market conditions, you will be better positioned to capitalize on significant investment opportunities. Also, having and sticking to a financial plan that aligns with your investment goals and risk levels will ensure that your portfolio will be able to meet your long-term goals.
  • Keep calm – It's best not to overreact when the market takes a downward turn. Try not to be too emotional or make impulsive moves with your investments. It's important to avoid market timing and stay focused on long-term investment goals.
  • Balance it out – Building a well-diversified portfolio can help lower risk. Ensure that your investment portfolio has a proper mix of investments that minimize risk while maximizing return. It is also important to re-visit your asset mix annually.

Mr. Rainusso also notes that making the right investment decisions is critical during all economic cycles, but especially during periods of extreme market volatility: "To help our clients assess and evaluate companies, we've focused on expanding our Canadian and U.S. equity research. This includes Morningstar Credit Reports offering an independent assessment of a company's financial health, which is significant as it's the first time this type of research is available to Canadian online investors."

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from October 17 – October 20, 2011, with 1508 Canadian adults.

*From another online survey that was conducted by Leger Marketing from August 2 – August 4, 2011, with 1501 Canadian adults.

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