Canada's millionaires: Self-made, immigrants and women

Credits: FOTOLIA


The wealthiest Canadians are no longer white men from old money.

In fact, most (67%) of the richest Canadians are self-made millionaires and almost half (48%) are either immigrants or first-generation Canadians.

"For generations, many have considered Canada to be a place that provides opportunities for those who are willing to move here and contribute to the growth of the country. The findings of this study confirm this long-standing belief," said Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, senior vice-president of BMO Harris Private Banking, which commissioned the report.

"Today's high-net worth Canadians, whether they were born here or have adopted Canada as their own, prove that hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit can result in prosperity and success."

And women are making up a higher percentage of the wealthiest among us. One third, or 33%, of Canadian millionaires are women, up from 21% in 2010.

"Today's women are controlling more and more wealth in Canada, and that number is increasing by eight percentage points annually," Dousmanis-Curtis said.

Of these women, 40% make their own money, and 33% manage their own investments, compared to 59% of men.

"As an industry, we need to anticipate and exceed the unique needs of this diverse client base if we are to succeed."

But one thing that hasn't changed is the value of education. Without post-secondary school, the chances of bringing in the big bucks is slim. The vast majority (80%) of Canada's richest have at least an undergraduate degree.

The survey 305 Canadian millionaires is accurate within 5.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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