Web Changes Finance Habits of Canadians

A survey of financial Web site users of the stock and mutual fund sites globeinvestor.com and globefund.com has found that Canadian investors are changing their financial habits as a result of access to online investment information.

The survey of more than 5,000 users of the two sites found that almost 90 percent are checking the status of their portfolios more frequently, almost 80 percent are doing more independent research on stocks and funds, and half are relying less on the advice of financial advisors.

Significantly, more than 60 percent are making investment decisions as a direct result of using these Web sites.

“Instinctively we’ve known that more Canadian investors are turning to the Net and that the availability of online financial Web sites like ours are impacting how they manage their finances,” said David Keith, Vice President, Financial Products, Globe Information Services. “This shift in behavior is moving quickly. We’ve seen an explosive increase in traffic to globeinvestor.com and globefund.com to the point that we’re now generating close to 25 million page views a month across the two sites.”

According to Keith, the survey shows that investors are now acting more independently by doing their own comparisons and research, and they’re reducing their dependence on advisors. He says that they are also more likely to use a discount broker.

The survey was conducted online by SurveySite, an Internet market research company, at globeinvestor.com and globefund.com in November and December, 1999. The results are based on 5,442 respondents.

Other research shows that about 58 percent of Canadians have access to the Internet, and according to a recent national survey by the Canadian Securities Administrators, nearly half of Canadians with Internet access use the Web to research investments.

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