Canadian mutual fund investors spend more time researching vacations, technology and car purchases than their mutual fund investments

Jan 15, 2013, 08:00 ET from ING DIRECT

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - More than half (51%) of Canadians who own mutual funds agree that choosing the right fund is neither simple nor straightforward, yet most spend more time planning luxuries instead of annual investments. A recent ING DIRECT survey revealed Canadian mutual fund investors spend, on average, 3.4 hours a year planning their mutual fund investments. By comparison, they spend more time planning a major technology purchase such as a smartphone, television or computer (5 hours), a vacation (6.6 hours) or a car purchase/lease (9.2 hours).

"Though not surprising, it's discouraging to see that Canadians are prioritizing vacation planning and car purchases over their mutual fund investment decisions," said Silvio Stroescu, head of mutual funds at ING DIRECT. "Mutual funds are the most popular investments in retirement portfolios, so to spend a little more time researching your options is worthwhile and can lead to significant savings in the long term."

Whether Canadians lack interest in researching investments or have no idea where to start, it's clear they could use some additional research time when it comes to investing.

An overwhelming majority (73%) of mutual fund investors say they turn to a banker or financial advisor when looking for advice in choosing mutual funds. Others polled say they turn to family (7%), media (3%) or friends (2%) while only 1 in 10 say they don't seek advice from anyone.  Some Canadians admit that factors like not having enough time to educate oneself (15%), having too many choices (14%) or feeling like investing requires too many steps (9%) were among the obstacles investors faced when deciding on which fund to choose.

The survey also found Canadian investors still don't know the basic cost of holding their funds. Half of mutual fund investors said they felt a MER of 1% or less was fair, yet 50% were unsure of the annual management expense they are paying for mutual funds.

"The perceived complexity around finding the right mutual funds often means Canadians are leaving their investment choices to other people," said Stroescu. "Outsourcing investment decisions is the main reason why Canadians pay some of the highest mutual funds fees in the world.  Rather than delegating these decisions, consider investing directly in a total portfolio solution that takes the guesswork out of investing while saving you both money and time."

ING DIRECT Streetwise Portfolios are diversified investments that use an index-based strategy so investors get exposure to a variety of stocks and bonds, and disciplined rebalancing is already built in. Investors get a portfolio that's tailored to their financial goals and risk profile at a fair cost.

About the survey

On December 14, 2012, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,008 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.08%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender and region according to the most recent census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About ING DIRECT Streetwise Portfolios

ING DIRECT Streetwise Portfolios are exclusively offered by ING DIRECT Asset Management Limited. ING Direct Funds Limited is the principal distributor of ING DIRECT Streetwise Portfolios. ING Direct Funds Limited offers mutual funds across Canada.  ING Direct Funds Limited and ING Direct Asset Management Limited are wholly-owned subsidiaries of ING Bank of Canada.  Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Mutual funds are not insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government deposit insurer, and are not guaranteed by ING Bank of Canada, or any other Canadian financial institution.

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