OSC study finds COVID-19 pandemic impacts retail investors unevenly

·1 min read

TORONTO — The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting retail investors differently, with most trying to endure the hardship and uncertainty, according to a study by Ontario's securities regulator.

The Ontario Securities Commission said Monday the study found half of Canadian investors had not bought or sold any investments during the pandemic, becoming passive investors during this time.

Women and older Canadians were more likely to have not bought any investments, while those who did invest were active in buying and selling investments, it said.

Some active investors see the pandemic as an opportunity to grow their portfolio and participate in the capital markets more, the regulator said.

"They were motivated to invest in part by a more optimistic outlook for the economy, but also to address their immediate financial needs," said the Ontario Securities Commission.

It said these active investors were more likely to be male, younger, have children and higher household incomes.

It noted, however, that those who sold investments did so because they needed the money and were more likely to feel their financial situation is worse off than before the pandemic.

The study, which is part of the OSC's efforts to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on investors and markets, also found that 36 per cent of investors think the pandemic will affect their financial situation until this fall while 35 per cent say it will affect them for longer.

The online survey conducted by Ipsos sampled 2,000 Canadians between September and October last year. According to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press