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Quebecers are Saving More and Diversifying Their Investment Choices Based on Priorities

January 21, 2019

Almost half the families in Quebec invested in an RESP in 2018

At this time of year when financial planning takes centre stage, a survey on savings habits by the firm CROP reveals an increase in the number of Quebecers saving their money—80% in 2018 compared to 75% in 2016. The study also found that Quebecers are diversifying their investment choices based on their savings goals.

According to the study commissioned by education savings specialist Universitas Financial, 48% of the families in Quebec report they invested in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in 2018, representing a 3 percent point increase since 2016.

“Each family’s savings goals vary according to priorities. That being said, many families prioritize education, and the RESP is the best investment out there to help them put their kids through post-secondary education,” says Pierre Lafontaine, Vice-President of Customer Experience and Strategic Development at Universitas Financial.

The Savings Priorities of Quebecers

The savings goals of Quebecers are multiple and vary by age-group priorities. Thus, long-term savings were favoured by 50% of 18- to 34-year-olds, outstripping the purchase of a home (38%), as well as education and retirement savings combined (26%).

For respondents aged 35 to 54 years, retirement savings take the lead (58%) over long-term savings (37%), education (23%), and the purchase of a home (11%).

Among respondents aged 55 and older, retirement (50%) is at the top of the list, followed by long-term savings (20%). Furthermore, 27% reported they don’t save against only 18% for 35- to 54- year-olds, and 11% in the case of 18- to 34-year-olds.

When respondents were asked which investment families should prioritize, the RESP ranked second (23%) for all age groups combined, placing it behind debt repayment (25%) but ahead of the RRSP (21%). Among the respondents with children, 33% consider the RESP is the top priority against 22% for RRSPs.

“This trend shows that parents are increasingly anticipating the costs of post-secondary education and want to take advantage of the government grants that supplement their savings. At Universitas, these grants, combined with investment income, are paid to students in the form of educational assistance payments (EAPs) upon enrolment in a post-secondary program,” explains Pierre Lafontaine.

Preferred Types of Investments

In 2018, after debt repayment (51%), the TFSA (49%) and the RRSP (43%) are the preferred savings vehicles for Quebecers. Then come unregistered investments (30%) and RESPs (20%).

In recent years, the TFSA and RESP in particular have steadily gained ground among the investments privileged by Quebec investors, respectively up 13 and 12 points since 2013.

Investment Vehicle

























These figures reflect a better annual distribution of savings by Quebecers. The amount saved per investment type also indicates this rise in diversification.

Investment Vehicle




Buying Property

Unregistered Investments

Average Investment







Methodology: The survey was conducted online by the CROP firm via a Web panel, from November 14 to 19, 2018, with a sample of 1,000 Quebec residents. The 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 data also come from CROP surveys using the same methodology over the same time frame, only the survey dates vary slightly from year to year.



Media Contact

Universitas Financial

Marjorie Larouche

Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Relations

418 651-8977, ext. 2314