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The Changing Face of Wealth: BMO Study Reveals That One-Third of Affluent Are New Canadians


* Almost all affluent new Canadians keep majority of their money in Canada
* Top global markets for high net worth investors: U.S., Europe and Asia
* Two-thirds of wealthy Canadians want to see a reduction in capital gains/income taxes

TORONTO - BMO Harris Private Banking today released the results of a comprehensive study revealing that almost one-third (30 per cent) of high net worth Canadians — those with investable assets of $1 million or more — are new Canadians (were not born in Canada).

The study, conducted by Harris Decima, also confirmed that almost all (96 per cent) affluent new Canadians keep the bulk of their wealth in Canada.

“These findings speak to the Canadian spirit of multiculturalism and how this country fosters an environment that helps individuals to succeed and thrive,” said Andrew Auerbach, Head of BMO Harris Private Banking. “Attracting the best and the brightest demonstrates the relative prosperity and openness of Canada’s economy. This bodes well for long-term wealth generation.”

Where Are Affluent Canadians Investing?

More generally, while the majority of high net worth Canadians reported that they keep the majority of their money in Canada, about four in ten (37 per cent) said they allocate a portion of their wealth outside the country. The top three markets identified were:

* The United States (69 per cent)
* Europe (35 per cent)
* Asia (28 per cent)

According to Jennifer Chua, Head of Private Banking (China), BMO Financial Group: “There’s no question that the growth we’re seeing in Asia is making it increasingly attractive to affluent Canadians. Ultimately, Asia is a good market for any investor to consider, regardless of net worth. However, seeking advice from a financial professional is critical to implementing the right strategy for success.”

Other Key Findings:

* More affluent Canadians are putting their money into tax-efficient investments than in the past (92 per cent today vs. 73 per cent in 2008 and 67 per cent in 2005).
* Two-thirds (66 per cent) of respondents would like to see a reduction in capital gains / income taxes.
* Less than half (38 per cent) feel that they are treated fairly when it comes to taxation.

About BMO Harris Private Banking
Backed by the heritage, stability and resources of BMO Financial Group, professionals at BMO Harris Private Banking are responsible for the successful management of wealth by providing expert advice and highly personalized services in banking, investment management, estate, trust, succession planning and philanthropic services - all in a coordinated and confident approach. With 34 offices across the country, including Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, BMO Harris Private Banking is able to service clients in a variety of languages, including English, French, Cantonese, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian and Tagalog.

The online survey was conducted by Harris/Decima among 459 Canadian adults who have $1M+ in investable assets, between September 2 to September 8, 2010.


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