We’ll start by saying the survey was commissioned in 2013, so the data has invariably evolved. Regardless of timing, however, the findings are thought-provoking. You may be interested to learn that our modest Atlantic Canadian region is home to the highest percentage of self-made millionaires in the nation.
The study is called “Changing Face of Wealth”. It was commissioned by BMO Harris Private Banking. It reveals some optimistic truths about high net-worth Canadians. The survey was conducted online over a period of several weeks, with a sample size of 305 Canadian adults who have over $1 million in investible assets, excluding their primary residence.
The punchline of the study is this: Canada’s affluent are a diverse group, and wealth can be accumulated in a variety of ways, regardless of gender or birthplace. We were impressed by the fact that 67% of Canada’s millionaires are self-made, making their wealth on their own rather than through inheritance. We were additionally impressed to learn that Atlantic Canada touts the highest percentage of self-made millionaires in our nation! According to the study, only 20% of our nation’s millionaires attribute their wealth to inheritance.
Almost half of Canada’s millionaires (48%) are immigrants or first-generation Canadians (24%). The findings of the study seem to confirm the long-standing belief that Canada is a land of opportunity for those willing to relocate and work hard to build a future in their new nation. As entrepreneurs ourselves, it’s encouraging to see the proof in the data: hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit can result in limitless prosperity if you’re strategic and focused. To give perspective, the same study was conducted in America and found that only 1/3 of America’s millionaires are new Americans.
Women make up 1/3 of Canada’s affluent but the best part is that the number is up a whopping 21% from 2010. It highlights the reality that women are controlling an increasing amount of our nation’s wealth (particularly in Atlantic Canada), and the trend is here to stay.
It’s 2019 as we write this, so we decided to do a quick google search. According to a 2017 article by Huffington Post, they cited “Canada is the new Switzerland”. The number of millionaires in our country shot up by almost 12% between 2015 and 2016, which is considerably faster than the global average. You may be thinking this is attributed to hot housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto (which we’re not denying play a role) but the results exclude individuals whose wealth is attributed to their primary residence.
Here are our takeaways: in the past, wealth could be correlated to a traditional stereotype of which gender, ethnicity and birthplace played a key role. Today, the stereotype has been shattered which makes us very proud to call ourselves Canadians. Our society and culture have enabled this. So, roll up your sleeves and put on your thinking caps (literally) because two things are likely to remain constant: education is the greatest predictor of wealth, while hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit are the primary ingredients.
Check out Atlantic Canada’s impressive stats below:
You Dream It. We Finance It.