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The surprising truth about what's really in Canadians' wallets

September 21, 2009

News Releases
Those who want to know how they financially stack up against others
    should check out MoneySense magazine's All-Canadian Wealth Test

TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW/ – Despite a growing chorus of voices that say the recession is over, many Canadians are feeling downright poor these days. But MoneySense magazine’s All-Canadian Wealth Test reveals that many of us are actually a lot better off than we think.

Available on newsstands across the country starting today, the Wealth Test lets Canadians determine how they stack up against other Canadians on all the key indicators of household prosperity. MoneySense research reveals whether we’re earning more or less than our peers, if we’re wealthier or poorer than others, and if our track record in the stock market is better or worse than most investors. Canadians can also visit where they can calculate their own net worth and compare it to people like themselves.

The good and bad news on how we stack up:

-   The good news - yes, good news - is that the average household is
        better off today than it was nine years ago at the peak of the
        dot-com boom. In fact, we're 7 per cent richer in real terms in grim
        2009 than we were in bubbly 2000.
    -   But there are warning signs. While the rich are getting richer, it's
        not clear that middle- and working-class Canadians are any wealthier.
    -   Another problem? The way we're getting rich. Rather than make money
        on the stock market or accumulate savings in the bank, a significant
        portion of our wealth is tied up in the rising value of our homes.
        Real estate now makes up an unprecedented share of our personal
        balance sheets. That may be fine now. But if house prices crash, look
        out below.

    The All-Canadian Wealth Test also reveals that:

    -   The average unattached Canadian has an annual income of $37,800. The
        average family earns $91,500.
    -   The path to higher income starts with being a guy. Women make, on
        average, about two-thirds of what men do.
    -   The richest 20 per cent of Canadian households control about 69 per
        cent of the wealth in Canada. Meanwhile, the poorest 20 per cent
        controls no wealth at all. It's actually in debt.

About MoneySense

MoneySense is Canada’s personal finance and lifestyle magazine. Packed with smart features, practical advice and easy-to-follow financial tips on everything from home improvement to mutual funds, an average MoneySense issue attracts 892,000 Canadians on the lookout for new ways to save, invest and spend. is Canada’s best all-around personal finance website.