A few of the interesting statistics inside the OSC 2013 Annual Report,
- 36% of Canadian wealth is held in mutual funds
- 49% of Canadians have financial advisors
- Of that 49%, 60% have not done a background check on their financial advisors
- The OSC oversees the compliance of
- 1,400 Public Companies
- 3,700 Investment Fund Issuers
- 1,300 Registered Firms and
- 66,000 Registered Individuals
- $2.2 Trillion - The total market capitalization of the Canadian equity market - approximately 121% of Canada's GDP
- High Frequency Trading accounted for 40% of all trades made in Canada
- The 5 largest banks in Canada held $18 trillion in OTC derivatives in 2012
With CPP enhancement off the table, pension reform might now morph into a host of provincial initiatives, involving voluntary PRPPs at one end of the spectrum and new mandatory government-sponsored plans at the other. It is the latter possibility that is most interesting. The retirement system can indeed be improved but we caution that some proposed changes could do more harm than good. The trade-off between retirement security and standard of living before retirement means that forced savings at too high a rate may not be in the best interests of many households. In this Vision, we identify the biggest gaps in coverage, analyze a possible new government-sponsored supplementary plan and then apply a new scoring method for assessing its effectiveness. We conclude that a new plan at the provincial level can indeed be a good thing, even if it is mandatory, but proper design is key to its success.
2013 proved to be the year of the consumer, with gold jewellery demand close to pre-crisis levels and investment in small bars and coins hitting a record high. The result was annual gold demand of 3,756.1 tonnes, valued at US$170bn. However, outweighing the impressive consumer demand were the effects of ETF outflows and lower central bank buying, resulting in 2013 demand 15% below the strong volumes recorded in 2012.