Advice beats the latest tech gadget: BMO survey

Canadians may be tech savvy, but they are still seeking good, old-fashioned advice when making decisions about their financial future.

Advice beats the latest tech gadget: BMO survey
Canadians may thank the Internet for their investment knowledge, but nothing beats personalized advice when making decisions for their financial future, according to a new survey.

The survey by BMO InvestorLine, released Tuesday, found that about three quarters, or 72 per cent, of Canadians say technology has made them better investors and increased their ability to manage their portfolios.

Canadians feel that, beyond being more convenient, technology has helped make them more informed, increased their speed and efficiency, simplified the once complex and expanded their sources for advice. Top tools used include financial news and real-time stock websites, and education resources from online brokerages.

“Over the last two decades, technology has played a transformational role in all aspects of our lives – including how Canadians invest,” said Viki Lazaris, CEO of BMO InvestorLine, in a release.

Meanwhile, 87 per cent of Canadians consider personalized advice to be essential when making the wisest investment decisions. Investors also value having access to investing information from credible online sources, the study revealed, with 50 per cent of respondents wishing to see more information made available on the Internet in the future.

“It’s like anything that’s automated. There is the good and the bad,” says Rhonda Sherwood, a Vancouver-based financial advisor with ScotiaMcLeod. “When you deal with someone personally, you get a more intimate experience. Online is about input and output. It lacks the knowledge of who you are and what’s best for you. That’s something a computer can’t do.”