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RealTime IT News

Finance with a Human Touch

[Toronto, ONTARIO] The Internet might be a fabulous source of stock tips and investment advice but, according to a recent study, Canadians still prefer warm bodies to the World Wide Web when it comes to seeking financial information.

The study, conducted by market research company Ipsos-Reid, reports that 60 percent of Canadians surveyed rated financial advisors an "important" source of information, citing investment professionals well ahead of ten other sources, including books on investing, family, friends and the Internet.

Twenty percent said the Internet was a significant source of financial information - roughly the same level as friends and books. Some 42 percent of respondents had used the services of a professional financial advisor in the previous 12 months and 65 percent of those using an advisor said they were satisfied.

In fact, just 11 percent of those surveyed said they expected to use a professional financial advisor less often in the future because of the Internet. Thirteen percent said they would make use of a "virtual" professional advisor over the Internet, if the service was provided by a reputable financial institution.

"When it comes to advice about money, the Internet is not going to be, or is not yet, a substitute for relationships with professional advisors. Even though there are more people than ever using the Internet, the human touch provided by investment professionals remains critically important to Canadians," said David Saffran, an Ipsos-Reid senior vice president and leader of the company's financial services practice.

When Internet users were surveyed about their past month's activities, 40 percent reported using the Internet to track how their investments were doing. Overall, 61 percent of Canadians surveyed by Ipsos-Reid deem the Internet a "reliable" source of financial information.