Anxiety restricting investment decisions: BCSC

A new poll has found that anxiety and a lack of understanding is holding B.C. investors back

Rob Kruyt

According to a new poll commissioned by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), over a third of British Columbians are anxious about their investments.

“The BCSC has been looking into the barriers that keep people from doing what they should be doing when it comes to their investments,” said Pamela McDonald, director, communications and education at the BCSC.

“We spoke to British Columbians in focus groups last year and learned anxiety is one of the main barriers they face when making investment decisions. We conducted this survey to quantify the problem and understand what would help investors overcome their anxiety.”

The poll, which surveyed 500 B.C. investors about investment anxiety, revealed that 36% feel “overwhelmed” when trying to make investment decisions. In response to this, the poll found that nearly 39% of investors avoid reading their investment statements because doing so causes further anxiety.

Last year, investors started receiving annual investment fee reports from advisors as part of a new set of securities regulations.

The online poll also found that 21% of investors surveyed said that a better understanding of basic investment principles would help alleviate anxiety. Additionally, 16% of investors believed a better understanding of investment jargon would help relieve anxiety and 22% of investors admit a better understanding of the products they hold would also reduce unwanted anxiety.

The Investment Anxiety in B.C. survey was part of an omnibus survey conducted by Innovative Research Group Inc. between January 11 and 16, 2018.