Facts & Figures: Digital assets, wealth transfer, financial learning and investing trends


A snapshot of some research and statistics on important topics for Canadians and their families.


The digital world


The percentage of Canadians who have at least one social media account.1


In a survey among Canadians, 88 percent reported using online banking, and over half said it’s their most common method of banking.2


Over 70 percent of Canadians spend at least 3 to 4 hours online per day. The most common online activities among Canadians are emailing, banking, using social media, accessing news and shopping.3

Have you considered your digital footprint as part of your estate plans? Please read our feature article, “Redefining your estate in the digital age.”

Wills and wealth transfer

How many Canadians have an updated Will?4

Age 18 to 34


Age 35 to 54


Age 55 or over

For Canadians who don’t have a Will in place, one-quarter say they are “too young” to worry about it.5

While over half of Canadians intend to transfer their wealth to the next generation after they pass away, 47 percent are not comfortable sharing the specific details of their plans in advance, and 13 percent are not open to sharing any information at all with intended beneficiaries.6

For more information on aspects to consider when drafting or reviewing your Will, please see the Will checklists in this edition.

Financial knowledge

According to a recent survey, when asked who in their household regularly participates in wealth planning decisions, only 41 percent of respondents noted that their spouse or partner takes part. For respondents who said they personally don’t participate in the planning, the number-one reason given was that “household responsibilities are split and I don’t assume responsibility for planning.” Another common reason was lacking the information or knowledge necessary to be involved.7


3 or lower

On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being not at all confident and 5 being very confident), 33 percent of survey respondents scored themselves as a 3 or lower when it comes to their knowledge of wealth and money.8

Interested in learning more about financial literacy? Please read “Managing money: Improve your financial management skills at every life stage.

Making an impact


The percentage of Canadian consumers who look for companies that take a stand on social, cultural, environmental and political issues they feel strongly about.9

Consumers are attracted to organizations that are committed to:10

Using good-quality ingredients


Treating employees well


Reducing plastics and improving the environment


When it comes to responsible investing, Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1993) are 65 percent more likely than Baby Boomers to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions. Millennials are also 60 percent more likely than Baby Boomers to exit an investment because of objectionable corporate activity on social or environmental issues.11

Find out more about ESG issues and responsible investing.

  1. SOCIALscape: Canada’s definitive measurement of social media and messaging platform usage patterns. Pollara Strategic Insights, June 2018. https://www.pollara.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Pollara-SOCIALscape-2018June-Rpt.pdf.
  2. “How Canadians Bank.” Canadian Bankers Association, March 2019. https://cba.ca/Assets/CBA/Documents/Files/Article%20Category/PDF/SPARK-CBA-How_Candians_Bank-Infographic-2019-EN6.pdf.
  3. “Canada’s Internet Factbook 2019.” Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) website. Accessed July 2019. https://cira.ca/resources/corporate/factbook/canadas-internet-factbook-2019.
  4. “What ‘will’ happen with your assets? Half of Canadian adults say they don’t have a last will and testament.” Angus Reid Institute poll. Released January 2018. http://angusreid.org/will-and-testament/.
  5. Ibid.
  6. 2017 Wealth Transfer Report. RBC Wealth Management and Scorpio Partnership, 2017. ${currentLocalePrefix}/wealth-transfer.
  7. RBC Wealth Management in partnership with Phoenix Marketing. Spring/Summer 2019 Survey findings. Accessed June 2019.
  8. Ibid.
  9. “Majority of Canadian consumers buying from companies that take a stand on issues they care about and ditching those that don’t Accenture study finds.” Accenture plc, January 28, 2019. https://www.accenture.com/ca-en/company-news-release-canadians-buying-companies.
  10. Ibid.
  11. “Millennials and responsible investing.” RBC Global Asset Management website. Accessed July 2019. https://www.rbcgam.com/en/ca/learn-plan/investment-strategies/millennials-and-responsible-investing/detail ; and 2016 Millennials, Women, and the Future of Responsible Investing Report. Responsible Investment Association, April 2016. https://www.riacanada.ca/research/millennials-women-and-the-future-of-responsible-investing/.

This document has been prepared for use by the RBC Wealth Management member companies, RBC Dominion Securities Inc. (RBC DS)*, RBC Phillips, Hager & North Investment Counsel Inc. (RBC PH&N IC), RBC Global Asset Management Inc. (RBC GAM), Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company (collectively, the “Companies”) and their affiliates, RBC Direct Investing Inc. (RBC DI) *, RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. (RBC WMFS) and Royal Mutual Funds Inc. (RMFI). *Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Each of the Companies, their affiliates and the Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. “RBC advisor” refers to Private Bankers who are employees of Royal Bank of Canada and mutual fund representatives of RMFI, Investment Counsellors who are employees of RBC PH&N IC, Senior Trust Advisors and Trust Officers who are employees of The Royal Trust Company or Royal Trust Corporation of Canada, or Investment Advisors who are employees of RBC DS. In Quebec, financial planning services are provided by RMFI or RBC WMFS and each is licensed as a financial services firm in that province. In the rest of Canada, financial planning services are available through RMFI or RBC DS. Estate and trust services are provided by Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company. If specific products or services are not offered by one of the Companies or RMFI, clients may request a referral to another RBC partner. Insurance products are offered through RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc., a subsidiary of RBC Dominion Securities Inc. When providing life insurance products in all provinces except Quebec, Investment Advisors are acting as Insurance Representatives of RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. In Quebec, Investment Advisors are acting as Financial Security Advisors of RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec. The strategies, advice and technical content in this publication are provided for the general guidance and benefit of our clients, based on information believed to be accurate and complete, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. This publication is not intended as nor does it constitute tax or legal advice. Readers should consult a qualified legal, tax or other professional advisor when planning to implement a strategy. This will ensure that their individual circumstances have been considered properly and that action is taken on the latest available information. Interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change. This information is not investment advice and should only be used in conjunction with a discussion with your RBC advisor. None of the Companies, RMFI, RBC WMFS, RBC DI, Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates or any other person accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this report or the information contained herein.

®/TM Registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © 2024 Royal Bank of Canada. All rights reserved.

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