Investing not a top priority for most Canadians in 2021

Nanos Research poll shows other things are in focus right now for the majority of people

Investing not a top priority for most Canadians in 2021
Steve Randall

The stock market continues to outperform, cryptos have hit new record highs, but for many Canadians this will not be a year to focus on investments.

That’s according to a new survey conducted by Nanos Research for Bloomberg which found that three out of four Canadians are prioritizing paying down debts (39%) or boosting their savings (37%).

Hopes of an economic surge, as pent-up demand and cash reserves spark a spending frenzy as the pandemic eases, remain but only 11% are focused on a major purchase.

“We have significant pent-up demand in the economy,” David McKay, chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Canada, said Monday at a conference. “We have significant savings sitting on consumers’ balance sheets.”

Investment intention is not much better. Just 13% say that buying stocks or real estate is high in their priorities.

Respondents in British Columbia and Quebec are more likely than average to include major investments in their financial priority list, along with men and younger Canadians (18-34 years).

Those in Atlantic Canada, women, and younger Canadians are more likely to prioritize paying down debt.

Debt reduction
The drive to reduce household debt was also recently highlighted in a report from CIBC.

For the 11th consecutive year, paying down debt is the top financial priority (20%) of respondents to CIBC’s Financial Priorities Poll, closely followed by keeping up with bills/getting by (18%). 

"Canadians have faced so many challenges [in 2020], it's understandable they are concerned about the economy in 2021.  If this year has taught us anything, it's that we don't always know what's coming next and the best buffer for the unexpected is to be prepared with a plan and be open to adjusting it when circumstances change," said Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, CIBC Financial and Investment Advice.