Harbourfront Wealth Management Study: 60% of Canadians Not Familiar with Private Investments

Do you understand what private investments are? Are you familiar with what they can bring to your portfolio?

If the answer is no — don’t worry. You’re not alone.

A majority of Canadians (60%) are not familiar with private investments, according to a recent study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Harbourfront Wealth Management.

The study sheds light on the limited awareness of private investments among the general population, especially in Canada. But lack of knowledge in this area is nothing to feel worried about. It’s just that Harbourfront Wealth Management has seen through firsthand experience the benefits of diversifying investment portfolios.

Let’s look at the numbers:

A Lack of Familiarity with Private Investments

According to the study, a staggering 60% of Canadians admitted to being unfamiliar with private investments.

Out of this group, 17% had never even heard of these types of investments, which encompass privately held businesses, private equity, private credit, venture capital, and private real-estate trusts. Moreover, 43% had heard of private investments, but still admitted to a limited understanding of the specifics.

This lack of awareness is concerning, as private investments can provide opportunities for accredited investors typically available to institutional investors, like pensions or endowments. For many Canadians, there are fewer available corporate-defined benefit plans available to access opportunities to invest in private securities. It’s vital for more Canadians to be informed about various investment options that could offer a diversifying return stream to add to a traditional portfolio of assets.

Limited Access to Investment Products

The study also highlighted that a significant number of Canadians feel their current financial institutions do not provide them with access to the full range of investment products they desire.

Around 27% disagreed with the idea that their current financial institution offers them access to every type of investment product they want. This sentiment was particularly prominent among younger Canadians (aged 18–34).

Furthermore, 24% of respondents disagreed that they have access to all types of investment products through their current financial institutions. These findings suggest that some Canadians may be dissatisfied with the investment options available to them, leading them to consider alternatives.

Openness to Change

Those alternatives might include other financial institutions and advisors.

About 42% of respondents expressed their willingness to switch financial institutions if they were offered more investment options. Similarly, 43% said they would consider changing their investment advisor or financial planner if it meant accessing a broader range of investment products.

This openness to change indicates that individuals are actively seeking avenues to expand their investment horizons. It also highlights the potential for financial institutions and advisors to cater to this demand by offering a more diverse range of investment products.

Key Takeaways

The Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Harbourfront Wealth Management brings attention to the lack of familiarity with private investments among Canadians.

It’s abundantly clear that much work needs to be done to educate the public about these investment options.

As more Canadians gain awareness of the potential benefits of private investments, it’s crucial to provide accessible and reliable information that empowers them to make informed financial decisions.

At Harbourfront Wealth Management, our innovative approach to offering private investments has paid off. We’ve helped thousands of Canadians unlock new avenues for growth and financial prosperity.

Learn more about our approach on our website and discuss with your advisor.


I, Danny Popescu, have prepared this commentary to give you my thoughts on various investment alternatives and considerations which may be relevant to your portfolio. This commentary reflects my opinions alone and may not reflect the views of Harbourfront Wealth Management. In expressing these opinions, I bring my best judgment and professional experience from the perspective of someone who surveys a broad range of investments. Therefore, this should be viewed as a reflection of my informed opinions rather than analyses produced by Harbourfront Wealth Management Inc.