New Canadians, new clients?

Get to them first. New Canadians, especially the most recent arrivals,say they are in need of financial advice according to a recent survey.

New Canadians, new clients?

The vast majority of new Canadians say they are in need of financial advice, especially new arrivals. According to the RBC Newcomer Financial Attitudes Poll issued this week, 60% of immigrants who arrived in Canada in the past year say that they lack financial knowledge.

For advisors seeking to grow their book, it may be best to offer services early, as the survey found that there is a sharp learning curve. Among those who have lived in Canada between two and five years, 92% of newer Canadians found their financial literacy about borrowing options improved.

"We have an opportunity to improve financial understanding for newcomers to Canada when they first arrive and we have a role to play in making sure that they are getting the right advice from day one," said Paul Sy, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC.

New Canadians are a significant segment of the population. According to the most recent census, Canada was home to 6.7 million foreign-born individuals in 2011, or about 20.6% of the total population. That’s the highest rate among G8 countries, followed by Germany with 13% in 2010 and the US with 12.9% in 2010.

Another recent survey found that new and recent Canadians also make up about a third of the country’s high-net worth population, and are a segment who find value in financial planning and wealth management advice, particularly if it's tailored to specific needs.