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30 years after TD brought self-directed investing to Canadians, one in four people invests online

TORONTO, April 7, 2014 /CNW/ - A lot has changed since Canada's first bank-owned self-directed brokerage was launched in 1984, including the profile of an online investor. Today, an increasing number of women, younger people and those with all portfolio sizes are looking to open an online brokerage account.

"There isn't a 'typical' online investor anymore," said Calvin MacInnis, president, TD Direct Investing. "As technology has evolved, people have gained the tools, information and confidence to help them take control of their investments, and that means we're seeing a much broader range of clients turning to online investing."

A recent TD survey found that 42 per cent of Canadians now research investment options online, while a quarter purchase investments online. MacInnis notes that, while men still make up about two-thirds of online investors, industry research shows that a growing number of women say they intend to open an online brokerage account, too.

"Even with this growth in using online brokerages, it doesn't have to be all or nothing," said MacInnis. "Just over half of the investors we surveyed told us they also work with a financial advisor or an accountant when managing at least part of their investments."

The TD survey also found that nearly a third of people who don't invest online say it's because they don't know enough, but Tony Ierullo, AVP, strategy and product development, TD Direct Investing, says there are many tools and resources available to help them learn and feel more comfortable. To assist self-directed investors, TD offers free seminars for all levels, whether new to online investing, an experienced investor or an active trader.

"With knowledge comes confidence, so it's important that self-directed investors - and those interested in getting started - educate themselves on the options available to them and have the tools they need to research and monitor their investments," said Ierullo. "At TD, we're focused on making it easy for clients to learn in a way that works best for them, whether they prefer extensive market commentary and independent research, or educational seminars and webinars."

"You don't need to be wealthy to invest online," added Ierullo, "Industry research has also shown that people with under $100,000 in assets are, in fact, the most likely to be planning to open an online brokerage account. We also recently introduced a flat commission of $9.99 per online Canadian and U.S. trade, making it even more accessible."

MacInnis has no doubt that the continued shift to digital will continue to drive the growth of online investing.

"When we launched our self-directed brokerage 30 years ago, clients of Green Line Investor Services - as TD Direct Investing was known then - reached our eight employees through a single telephone line," he said. "By the early 1990s, we were offering Canada's first personal computer trading service, followed soon after by Canada's first Internet brokerage platform."

"Advancements in technology have allowed us to continue innovating to meet the needs of investors as they do more and more transactions online," added MacInnis. "Now, with mobile trading apps, even more people can invest online wherever and whenever they want."

To learn more about TD Direct Investing, please visit:

About the Research

For the TD Survey, TD commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online custom survey of 6,015 Canadians aged 18 years and older. Responses were collected between February 11 and 25, 2014. Additional industry research was conducted by Ipsos Reid as part of its 2013 Online Brokerage Report which surveyed 2001 online brokerage users between June 14 and June 28, 2013.

About TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing is a division of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves over 22 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada; Wealth and Insurance, including TD Wealth, TD Direct Investing, an investment in TD Ameritrade, and TD Insurance; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, and TD Auto Finance U.S.; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 8 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$909 billion in assets on January 31, 2014. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. For more information:

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

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