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Thursday April 12, 2018

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Western View

Cannabis and cryptocurrencies tempting some Alberta investors—majority steering clear

Market and media attention on cannabis and cryptocurrencies appear to be creating a tempting environment for some investors hoping to make a quick fortune. According to ATB Financial's Investor Beat survey, 43 per cent of Albertans consider cannabis a good investment option, while 17 per cent believe the same for cryptocurrencies.

Albertans aged 18 to 54 are more likely to explore riskier income-generation opportunities, compared to investors over 55 years of age who are likely skeptical about playing the stock market with their retirement on the horizon. Despite exploration of these options, the number of Albertans invested in cryptocurrencies and cannabis remains fairly low.

"If people choose to put their their money into investment trends, it's important that they ask themselves if it's worth the financial risk," said Chris Turchansky, president of ATB Investor Services. "Most of the time, the answer is the difference between speculating and professional investment advice."

ATB's quarterly survey also revealed that among Albertans who feel it's a good time to invest, a strong stock market and strengthening provincial economy are enticing them to increase their holdings in the stock market (10 per cent compared to seven per cent last quarter). In contrast, those who are more conservative with their finances are planning to increase their cash and balanced-mutual-fund holdings this quarter.

"Staying on strategy in an investment climate continually influenced by crises, fanned by the media and investment fads, takes discipline," said Turchansky. "If you change direction constantly, you don't move forward, you just become dizzy. That's why it's important to always refer your investment decisions back to your investment goals and determine the right path to move you towards your definition of success. It may sound a little less exciting, but slow and steady wins the race."

Other highlights of this quarter's ATB Investor Beat survey include:

• Albertans remain committed to their 2018 new year financial resolutions to save for retirement (56 per cent) and pay down debt (50 per cent).

• The lasting effect of Alberta's recession has 14 per cent more Albertans feeling the negative financial impacts of lower oil prices compared to last quarter.

• Just under half of Albertans are interested in the idea of social responsible investing, but they are less committed to putting their interest into action by paying a higher premium.



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