Employees sitting in board room during a webinar on investor behaviours

We use data and applied research methods to enable evidence-based decision-making within the OSC.

And we identify and solve behavioural challenges through scientific insights and experimentation.

Employees sitting in board room during a webinar on investor behaviours

We use data and applied research methods to enable evidence-based decision-making within the OSC.

And we identify and solve behavioural challenges through scientific insights and experimentation

What are Behavioural Insights?

When making decisions, people can often be limited by their time, knowledge and willpower. To compensate for these limitations, people use shortcuts in their decision making which can lead to cognitive biases. Consequently, this can lead to people to do things that are not in their best interest.

Behavioural insights are a powerful set of tools that allow us to make appropriate and effective regulations and programs that reflect how people actually behave and process information. These regulations and programs are used to address issues in capital markets and improve outcomes for investors.

The use of behavioural insights in securities regulation and by other government and regulatory bodies has grown significantly in recent years.

At the OSC, the Investor Office Research and Behavioural Insights Team (IORBIT) is building the OSC’s behavioural insight capacity and identifying opportunities to use it in OSC policy development and operational processes.

Learn more about Behavioural Insights
What are Behavioural Insights?

When making decisions, people can often be limited by their time, knowledge and willpower. To compensate for these limitations, people use shortcuts in their decision making which can lead to cognitive biases. Consequently, this can lead to people to do things that are not in their best interest.

Behavioural insights are a powerful set of tools that allow us to make appropriate and effective regulations and programs that reflect how people actually behave and process information. These regulations and programs are used to address issues in capital markets and improve outcomes for investors.

The use of behavioural insights in securities regulation and by other government and regulatory bodies has grown significantly in recent years.

At the OSC, the Investor Office Research and Behavioural Insights Team (IORBIT) is building the OSC’s behavioural insight capacity and identifying opportunities to use it in OSC policy development and operational processes.

Learn more

WHAT WE DO

Research

We use a variety of research methodologies to explore the attitudes, preferences and challenges of retail investors.

We seek to identify investor trends and issues to help the OSC to have a fuller understanding of issues within the capital markets.

Read more of our research

WHAT WE DO

Research

We use a variety of research methodologies to explore the attitudes, preferences and challenges of retail investors.

We seek to identify investor trends and issues to help the OSC to have a fuller understanding of issues within the capital markets.

Read more of our research

NOVEMBER 2022

Research Study: Gamification & Other Behavioural Techniques

 

Read more

OCTOBER 2022

Research Study: Crypto Assets 2022

 

This study examines Canadians’ crypto ownership and knowledge. It found 13% of Canadians currently own crypto assets or crypto funds. The study also found most Canadians did not have a working knowledge of the practical, legal and regulatory dimensions of crypto assets. Crypto assets were believed to play a key role in the financial system by 38% of those surveyed. The study provides a profile of crypto owners, their reasons for purchasing crypto assets or crypto funds, the role of financial advice, impact of advertising, and the experience of crypto owners with crypto trading platforms. 

Read more

SEPTEMBER 2022

Investors vs. Savers: Attitudes Towards Investing

This study compares the attitudes and beliefs of investors versus savers about our capital markets. It was conducted from January 17 to February 9, 2021 — an interesting time as the GameStop saga began midway through our data collection. The study found significant differences between investors and savers in four thematic areas: wealth creation, fairness of capital markets, effectiveness of regulation, and the economic importance of capital markets.

Read more

SEPTEMBER 2022

Investor Knowledge Study

 

This study assesses the financial knowledge of retail investors across five areas that are of importance when making investment decisions. The survey includes the widely-used financial knowledge questions currently used across Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jurisdictions. On average, investors answered 53% of the questions correctly. The study found that investors have the least knowledge when it comes to investment costs and investor protections. 29% of Canadian investors are overconfident in their financial knowledge, however, completing the survey questions was an effective way to reduce overconfidence in some investors through debiasing.

Read more

APRIL 2021

Self-Directed Investors: Insights & Experiences

More DIY, or self-directed, retail investors became active during the pandemic according to our study. It found 10% of self-directed investors opened their account during the pandemic. The information sources they relied on most to make investment decisions included their own personal views about company based on their personal experiences with its products and services; and posts on social media and online message boards such as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook.

Read more

Latest Research

APRIL 2021

Investor Experience

Nearly half of investors reported increased levels of stress during the COVID pandemic, according to the Investor Experience Research Study. It found most of these investors communicated with their advisors and some sold more than 20% of their portfolios during the pandemic.

Read more

Latest Research

NOVEMBER 2022

Research Report: Gamifcation & Other Behavioural Techniques

Read more

OCTOBER 2022

Research Study: Crypto Assets 2022

This study examines Canadians’ crypto ownership and knowledge. It found 13% of Canadians currently own crypto assets or crypto funds. The study also found most Canadians did not have a working knowledge of the practical, legal and regulatory dimensions of crypto assets. Crypto assets were believed to play a key role in the financial system by 38% of those surveyed. The study provides a profile of crypto owners, their reasons for purchasing crypto assets or crypto funds, the role of financial advice, impact of advertising, and the experience of crypto owners with crypto trading platforms. 

Read more

SEPTEMBER 2022

Investors vs. Savers: Attitudes Towards Investing

This study compares the attitudes and beliefs of investors versus savers about our capital markets. It was conducted from January 17 to February 9, 2021 — an interesting time as the GameStop saga began midway through our data collection. The study found significant differences between investors and savers in four thematic areas: wealth creation, fairness of capital markets, effectiveness of regulation, and the economic importance of capital markets.

Read more

SEPTEMBER 2022

Investor Knowledge Study

This study assesses the financial knowledge of retail investors across five areas that are of importance when making investment decisions. The survey includes the widely-used financial knowledge questions currently used across Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jurisdictions. On average, investors answered 53% of the questions correctly. The study found that investors have the least knowledge when it comes to investment costs and investor protections. 29% of Canadian investors are overconfident in their financial knowledge, however, completing the survey questions was an effective way to reduce overconfidence in some investors through debiasing.

Read more

APRIL 2021

Self-Directed Investors: Insights & Experiences

More DIY, or self-directed, retail investors became active during the pandemic according to our study. It found 10% of self-directed investors opened their account during the pandemic. The information sources they relied on most to make investment decisions included their own personal views about company based on their personal experiences with its products and services; and posts on social media and online message boards such as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook.

Read more

APRIL 2021

Investor Experience

Nearly half of investors reported increased levels of stress during the COVID pandemic, according to the Investor Experience Research Study. It found most of these investors communicated with their advisors and some sold more than 20% of their portfolios during the pandemic.

Read more