British Columbia Securities Commission

BCSC Study Finds Millennials Understand Investment Fees Better Under CRM2, But are the Least Loyal of Investors when it Comes to Advisor Relationships

British Columbia Securities CommissionVancouver – A four-part, longitudinal study commissioned by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) shows that millennials’ general understanding of investment fees grew as a result of charges and compensation reports required under securities rules known as the Client Relationship Model, Phase 2 (CRM2). But millennials were also the most likely of all generations to change their advisor or firm during the study period.

Young people in B.C. between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely than older generations to recall both their 2017 and 2018 fee reports over the course of the 16-month study (62 per cent did so, compared to 53 per cent of those over 35). The study showed that 76 per cent of male millennials and 74 per cent of female millennials agreed the CRM2 fee disclosure reports provide information they need to better understand the fees they pay for the investments they hold. After receiving their 2018 CRM2 reports, male millennials were by far the most likely (60 per cent compared to 31 per cent overall) to report they discussed the fee report with their investment advisor.

Millennials’ general understanding of investment fees has improved since the first CRM2 fee disclosure reports were sent out in 2016. Half of all millennials in the study (49 per cent) saw some long-term improvement in their general understanding of investment fees.

Pamela McDonald
Pamela McDonald

“Like Baby Boomers, millennials represent a large demographic that can influence the world economy. As millennials begin to make more money and think about investing it, we want them to be knowledgeable and, therefore, empowered to make good investment decisions that will set them up to have good investment outcomes,” said Pamela McDonald, Director of Communications at the BCSC.

Since the first part of the study, millennials have shown they are more likely than other generations to make changes to how they invest. Although they were no more likely than other age groups to take any new actions after receiving the fee reports, those millennials who did act were more likely than older generations to change their advisor or firm. Twenty-eight per cent of millennials changed their advisor or firm during the study period, compared to 20 per cent of those 35-54 and only 7 per cent of those 55+.

“Millennials, like all investors, have choices when it comes to their investments,” said McDonald. “This longitudinal study shows that they are using their CRM2 reports to inform those choices.”

The BCSC has tools to help millennial investors improve their investment fee knowledge, such as a Fee Calculator, on the Take a Look at Your Investment Fees page on

The BCSC commissioned the four-part longitudinal Investor Readiness for Better Investing study to measure how well B.C. investors understand the fees they pay and how the fee disclosure reports affected investor knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Canadian investors began receiving the fee disclosure reports in January 2017. The BCSC‘s four-part longitudinal study tracked investor knowledge and behaviour before and after receiving the new reports. The study only looked at investors who work with an investment advisor. The study was conducted by Innovative Research Group Inc. from November 2016 to March 2018. For more information on the research findings, visit the BCSC’s investor education website

About the British Columbia Securities Commission ( )

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital