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BMO Study: Vast Majority of Wealthy Canadians are Self-Made


* Almost 95 per cent of those with $1 million+ in assets are self-made
* 80 per cent enjoying greater wealth than their parents
* Three quarters are the same or better off financially than before the recession
* Slight majority feel their children are well prepared to manage their inheritance

TORONTO - BMO Harris Private Banking today released the results of a comprehensive study which found that the vast majority (94 per cent) of affluent Canadians – those with investable assets of $1 million or more – have made their money on their own (self-made professionals and/or business owners). Only six per cent report that they have inherited the majority of their wealth.

“These findings speak to the strong entrepreneurial environment in which we live,” said Andrew Auerbach, Senior Vice-President and Head, BMO Harris Private Banking. “They reveal a culture of drive and determination among Canadians and recognize that we live in a country where self-made success is encouraged and rewarded.”

The study also revealed that:

80 per cent of respondents report that they enjoy greater wealth than their parents.
Three quarters (77 per cent) say they are currently the same or better off, financially, now compared to before the onset of the 2008 recession.
Only a slight majority (58 per cent) believe that their children will be able to manage their inheritance.
Three quarters (76 per cent) of wealthy Canadians believe it is important to give back to their communities, with 59 per cent saying the recession has had no impact on their donating habits.

“It’s encouraging to see that the majority of wealthy Canadians are feeling good about their situation—they’re doing better than their parents, have strong savings and investment plans and recognize the importance of charitable giving,” said Mr. Auerbach. “However, it’s also clear that a sizeable number of respondents are concerned about their children’s ability to effectively manage their inheritances. This underscores the need for Canadians, regardless of income level, to make financial literacy a priority for our kids.”

The online survey was conducted by Harris/Decima among 459 Canadian adults who have $1M+ in investable assets.


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