We believe that investor education, and research about investor knowledge and attitudes, are essential to effective investor protection. Through research, the BCSC, our partners, and our provincial counterparts are trying to understand Canadians' overall investment knowledge, their understanding of financial concepts like savings and budgeting, and their experience with fraud and unsuitable investments.

The information gathered from these studies helps the BCSC and other provincial securities regulators in their mandate to help:

  • Investors make appropriate investments decisions
  • Investors recognize, avoid and report investment scams
  • People, both young and old, to develop better financial life skills

Investor studies

2012 Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) Investor Index PDF document
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.

2012 National Investment Fraud Vulnerability Report PDF document
Previous research tells us that anyone can fall victim to investment fraud.  This study looks past trust and examines who is most vulnerable to fraudulent investment offers and what triggers would motivate them to invest in one. The study of almost 2,500 Canadians was released to mark Fraud Awareness Month in March, 2012.

Les recherches antérieures montrent que n’importe qui peut être victime de la fraude liée aux placements. L'étude va au-delà de la question de la confiance et s’attache à déterminer quelles personnes sont les plus vulnérables face aux offres de placements frauduleuses et quels facteurs les motivent à investir leur argent dans de telles fraudes. Les résultats de l'enquête, qui a été menée auprès d'environ 2 500 personnes, sont rendus publics à l'occasion du Mois de la sensibilisation à la fraude.

 2010 Canadian Securities Administrators Survey (CSA) on Retirement and Investing PDF document 
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. The survey was released as part of Investor Education Month in October. The online survey asked 2,318 Canadian adults about their financial readiness for retirement and behaviour towards investment opportunities.

2009 Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) Investor Index PDF icon small
In 2006, the CSA conducted an inaugural Investor Index, designed to understand Canadians’ knowledge about investments and experience with fraud attempts. A partial follow-up survey was conducted in 2007 and published as the CSA Investor Study. In October 2009, the CSA published the 2009 Investor Index to kick off Investor Education month. This research follows up on the work done in previous research and includes a new section on the importance of education about personal finances and investing for young people.

 2008 The 21st Century Investor PDF icon small
This research focuses on the “Silver Tsunami”, a large group of Canadians who are currently in transition from working to retiring. The first phase of the on-line study of 1,770 Canadian investors was conducted in July 2008, with a significant sample of investors who are retired or nearing retirement. Following the global financial crisis, a second shorter survey of 1,058 Canadian investors took place between Oct. 16 and 17 to determine whether there has been a shift in investors’ attitudes. Findings from the survey served as the main focus of the BCSC's 2008 Capital Ideas conference. 

2008 Investment Attitudes: Focus on Chinese-language investors PDF icon small
An investor survey focused on Metro Vancouver’s Chinese-language residents, which found that some of their attitudes toward investing could put them at risk of falling victim to investment fraud.

2007 CSA Investor Study: Understanding the Social Impact of Investment Fraud PDF icon small
Following up on its 2006 Investor Index, the CSA conducted a national study in 2007 to assess the impact of investment fraud on Canadian investors. The study showed that investment fraud is a serious problem in Canada that can affect people's trust in others as well as their mental and physical health.

2005 Eron Mortgage Study PDF icon small
The BCSC commissioned Professor Neil Boyd, an Simon Fraser University criminology expert, to conduct a systematic study of the Eron Mortgage fraud that saw thousands of investors lose most of the $240-million invested in the scheme that operated from 1993 to 1997. Boyd and his research team conducted surveys, held focus groups, and interviewed Eron investors.

Youth Research

BCSC's financial literacy research 

2011 National Report Card on Youth Financial Literacy PDF icon small

This is the first comprehensive Canadian benchmark study on youth financial life skills. The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) hired Innovative Research Group to assess the effectiveness of secondary school financial education programs - specifically, financial literacy outcomes (knowledge, attitudes and behaviour) - and in preparing young Canadians as financial consumers. The BCSC believes that the information and analysis in this study will help educators and policymakers develop and deliver financial literacy programs for Canadian youth.

Ce rapport est la première étude de référence canadienne à être consacrée à une évaluation détaillée des aptitudes financières des jeunes. La Commission des valeurs mobilières de la Colombie-Britannique (BCSC) a retenu les services de l’entreprise Innovative Research Group pour évaluer l’efficacité des programmes d’enseignement financier offerts dans les écoles secondaires du Canada, tout particulièrement sous l’angle des résultats obtenus en littératie financière (connaissances, attitudes, sensibilisation), ainsi que de la préparation des jeunes Canadiens à devenir des consommateurs de produits et services financiers (comportements). La BCSC estime que les données et les analyses que renferme cette étude aideront les éducateurs et les décideurs à élaborer et mettre en place des programmes propres à améliorer la littératie financière chez les jeunes Canadiens.

Graduate outcomes surveys  

This research assesses the life skills of recent high school graduates and their high school experience in preparing them to manage their finances. By surveying high school graduates, the BCSC wants to find out if young people in BC are becoming more financially literate. The BCSC has always emphasized education as an important tool of securities regulation.