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Canadians Shifting to More Conservative Investments for 2012, Says RBC

TORONTO, March 14, 2012 — Despite continuing market and global uncertainty, the 2012 investment season is showing strong growth in RRSPs and TFSAs, as well as renewed growth of non-registered investments, according to a review by RBC Branch Investments. RBC has seen investment growth double year-over-year and has surpassed one million pre-authorized contributions for investment accounts.

"In an uncertain economy, our clients have made more diversified investing a priority," said Michael Walker, vice-president and head, Branch Investments, RBC. "What's interesting is their move from one specific investment type like mutual funds to a diversified investment mix across longer term mutual funds, GICs and investment savings."

While Canadian investors continue to choose longer term mutual funds, guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) were also popular. This renewed focus on guaranteed investments is likely due to a combination of factors: global uncertainty, the desire for higher yields available in longer term GICs and interest rates remaining unchanged for the near term, explained Walker.

More and more, the traditional two-month RRSP season has been expanding into the longer winter investment season, with a broader focus on the overall importance of RRSPs, TFSAs and non-registered investing. "We've seen many clients going back to the basics, recognizing that investing and saving is not just for what traditionally has been thought of as RRSP season, with good growth in regular contributions throughout the year," said Walker.

According to the 22nd Annual RBC RRSP Poll, regular RRSP contribution plans gained in popularity among Canadian RRSP holders (35 per cent), with almost half (48 per cent) of younger RRSP owners (age 18-34) using regular contribution plans.

"While we understand that it's not easy juggling many financial priorities especially during challenging economic times, it is promising to see that regular RRSP contribution plans are gaining in popularity among Canadians," added Walker. "One of the most effective ways to save for retirement is to have an automatic savings plan. Many people find that they don't even miss the money they contribute, because they never see it."

About RBC's financial planning advice, resources and interactive tools
The RBC Advice Centre offers free online advice, resources and tools regarding RRSPs - including the RSP-Matic® Savings Calculator and updates on the federal government's RRSP First Time Home Buyers' Plan. Whether Canadians want to save and invest, buy their first home, get more from their day to day banking, protect what's important, or take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer their questions. Interactive tools and calculators provide customized information covering many facets of personal finance, including the Debt Reduction Plan and the Debt Consolidation Calculator. With the guidance of RBC advisors who are available to chat live, Canadians have access to free, no-obligation professional advice about RBC products and services and personalized one-on-one service. Further information is available at rbcadvicecentre.com. In addition, RBC's myFinanceTracker, a comprehensive online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their spending habits and to access the new myTax Centre, to help manage and plan their taxes.

About the 22nd Annual RBC RRSP Poll
This survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid between October 24 and November 15, 2011 via a random sample of 1,224 adults in the general population (aged 18 and over). The results are based on samples where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. A weighted probability sample of 1,224 Canadian respondents, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ±3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

For further information, please contact:

Suzanne Willers, RBC Corporate Communications, (416) 974-2727
Kate Yurincich, RBC Corporate Communications, (416) 974-1031