The CSA conducts investor research studies to better understand the relationships Canadians have with investments, and their views on fraud and regulators. This research also helps us develop new programs and enhance existing ones based on the needs of Canadian investors.

2012 CSA Investor Index 

The 2012 Investor Index is the CSA’s third survey on investment knowledge, investor behaviour, and incidence of investment fraud. The survey examined similar themes to those conducted in 2006 and 2009, including the incidence of “self-reported” investor fraud and awareness of securities regulators. The 2012 survey also included new questions in the areas of market expectations and the role of social media in investing. 

Key findings of the 2012 Index show that: 
  1. Canadians continue to be approached with fraudulent investments and are not reporting them. Twenty-seven per cent believe they have been approached with a fraudulent investment opportunity at some point in their life, yet among this number, just 29 per cent reported it to authorities. 
  2. Canadians’ overall investment knowledge is low, with 40 per cent of Canadians failing ageneral investment knowledge test. 
  3. Social media is emerging as an investment tool, although traditional channels – such as financial advisers – still dominate.
For more information:

View the 2012 News Release

2010 CSA Survey on Retirement and Investing

In 2010, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) commissioned Ipsos Reid to conduct a survey on attitudes and experiences relating to preparedness for retirement and investing decisions. More specifically, the research investigates:

  • Canadians’ financial readiness for retirement
  • Investments set aside for the future
  • Sources of income in retirement
  • Anticipated behaviour in response to a referred investment
  • Behaviour with respect to researching investment opportunities

Key Findings:

  1. Canadian investors are twice as likely as non-investors to believe they will have enough money to meet their retirement needs.
  2. Investors say they have done research on their last investment opportunity (either themselves or through their financial adviser).
  3. When it comes to recommendations on high return investments from friends and family, most Canadians would do more research before investing.

For more information:

View the 2010 News Release

View the 2010 Executive Summary (PDF)

View the 2010 CSA Survey on Retirement and Investing (PDF)


2009 CSA Investor Index 

The 2009 Index was commissioned as the first full follow-up of an earlier 2006 CSA Investor Index, to provide tracking for key metrics. More specifically, the research investigates:

  • Canadians’ investment behaviour
  • Knowledge and confidence about investing
  • Investor understanding of financial fraud
  • Canadians’ experiences with financial fraud
  • Variables associated with susceptibility to fraud
  • Awareness of the provincial securities regulators

In addition, there is a new section on the importance of education about personal finances and investing for young people.

Once again, Canadians expressed confidence and believe that they are knowledgeable and responsible about investing. Yet, their behaviour may indicate otherwise. For instance, the majority of Canadians are not accessing information about investments, even though they believe that they would know where to go for this information. Also interesting is that just under four-in-ten Canadians (38%) believe that they have been approached with a possible fraudulent investment, a level that is relatively consistent compared to 2006 and 2007.

For more information:

View the 2009 News Release

View the CSA 2009 Investor Index Executive Summary (PDF)


View the CSA 2009 Investor Index (PDF)


2007 CSA Investor Study: Understanding the Social Impacts of Investment Fraud 

The key focus of this study was to understand the impact of investor fraud beyond the financial loss endured by victims. Victims of fraud and their friends and family were asked to share their perceptions on the social impact of investment fraud. The study also explored the experiences of victims of both attempted and actual fraud.

The results of this study showed that the first casualty of fraud is the victim’s trust in other people, in the financial markets and investments in general. We also learned that the effects of financial fraud go well beyond the victim’s pocket book, causing negative impacts to health and social relationships. For more information on the results of this survey and how investment fraud affects Canadians:

View the 2007 News Release

View the Executive Summary


2006 CSA Investor Index

The CSA conducted this study to:

  1. understand to what degree Canadians invest their money and whether they have the necessary knowledge and skills to invest appropriately
  2. benchmark their understanding of, and experience with, financial fraud
  3. benchmark awareness of securities regulators and expectations for them

We learned from this study that although the majority of Canadians understand the importance of being informed investors, gaps still exist when it comes to putting their knowledge into practice. For example, although 86% of respondents understand that suspicious investment opportunities should be reported, only 14% actually do so.

For more information about the study:

View the 2006 News Release

View the CSA Investor Index (PDF)

Please note: 

Links to and use of our materials by third parties do not constitute endorsement by the CSA or by provincial or territorial regulators. Please see the important note on our Legal page. 

For more information, or if you would like to use any of the CSA content or materials, please read our guidelines for acceptable use.