RBC has just released a survey that shows the number of Canadians opening TFSA accounts is climbing steadily and is now at a quarter of eligible (18+) Canadians. Back in April Jonathan Chevreau had reported in his Wealthy Boomer blog that 20% had opened accounts to that point. The good news is that most people - over 70% - are mostly aware of the TFSA. Hopefully, the slow to act will soon join the list ... hint to some members of my family!
It was a wonderful coincidence that the January 1st start-up date more or less marked the bottom of the equity slump so those who were quick to jump in have seen a very healthy return so far - my initial $5000 evenly split between XIU and XMD has risen 33% or so since my account opened in February, a great tax-free return.
Maybe more Canadians should be a little more adventurous than the cash savings and the GICs that dominate TFSA account holdings according to RBC. Interest rates are so low that there isn't much point to tax-free savings if there isn't any income generated. RBC's headline to its press release - Why aren't Canadians taking advantage of tax free savings accounts? - is true in more ways than one.