Two-thirds of Canadians say they are likely to be investing online in next five years

Source: Bank of Montreal

The future looks bright for online investing, according to a BMO InvestorLine study released today.

The study found that 65 per cent of Canadians say they will likely start investing online in the next five years. Moreover, more than 80 per cent of those between 18 and 34 years old expect to purchase, sell, manage and monitor their investments online by 2018.

When looking at the online habits of Canadians, the study found that almost 20 per cent of Canadians currently invest online. However, with so many young Canadians expecting to come on board, the study noted that this number could more than triple within the next decade.

What are Canadians currently doing online?

Other activities that Canadians of all ages are doing online include:

Reading the news (77 per cent)
Personal banking (77 per cent)
Keeping in touch with family and friends (75 per cent)
Gaming (69 per cent)
Hobbies (63 per cent)
Shopping (61 per cent)

"Canadians clearly are comfortable and have a passion for being online, and the Internet is a growing part of their daily lives," said Viki Lazaris, President and CEO, BMO InvestorLine. "Online investing is a natural extension of that, offering investors more control over their portfolios, the ability to monitor their investments 24/7 and access to extensive research and tools."

Ms. Lazaris noted that many online investors prefer to invest independently through an online brokerage and do all of the research and trading themselves, but others prefer to receive buy and sell recommendations when making investment decisions. For those who want the benefit of having an investing co-pilot, BMO InvestorLine recently introduced adviceDirect.

The first service of its kind in Canada, adviceDirect allows investors to maintain control of their portfolio, but provides them with unbiased and fact based investment recommendations that are aligned to their unique investment objectives.

BMO InvestorLine offers the following tips for Canadians of all ages who are considering investing online:

Do Your Research: Before choosing re choosing an online brokerage, research them in advance to learn more about the range of services available to you as a client such as resources, tools, the user interface and stock screener. This will help you choose the best brokerage for you. For example, if investment advice is important to you, BMO InvestorLine's adviceDirect may your best option.

Look for Support: Some online brokerages offer a range of services that can provide much-needed support for new investors. Look for brokerages that offer help for new clients in learning more about the world of online investing through demonstrations, seminars, webcasts, tutorials, analyst reports and newsletters. BMO InvestorLine offers all of these 'getting-started' services as well as access to representatives who are available either online or over the phone.

Tap Into Tools: Be on the lookout for online brokerages that offer a wide range of tools and resources. Innovative research tools can help investors ease into the world of online investing and provide them with a wealth of unbiased information to reference. For instance, BMO InvestorLine sends clients eCurriculum emails on various investing topics, and provides three sources of research including Ford Equity Research, Morningstar Equity Research & Pick Lists and Morningstar Credit Research.

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