When it comes to investment options, many Canadians think cash is the smartest bet. 

But those who identify as male and those who identify as female have different ideas of whether cash is king. 

A new global survey of 39,573 people -- including 1,200 Canadian adults -- from comparison site Finder.com found more than 10M (33%) of Canadians think cash is the best investment choice for 2022. Of those surveyed, 34% of men reported that cash was the best investment compared to just 31% of women.

Not surprisingly, the country's red-hot market, real estate wasn’t far behind, with nearly 9M Canadians (or 28%) predicting property as the best performing asset for 2022 -- but women are more likely to say so at 32%, versus 24% of men who believe real estate is the best place to invest in 2022. 

Nearly three times as many Canadians 65+ (42%) said property would perform best in 2022 versus just 15% of the country’s youngest adults aged 18-24 (who likely can't enter the market anyway). Meanwhile, 21% to 29% of those 24-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64 reported real estate as the best investment. 

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Naturally, crypocurrency was also a top choice. Crypto came out ahead of stocks for 2022, with 15% of respondents predicting digital assets will be the best performing assets, versus just 11% of Canadians who said the same about equities. 

Public relations manager at Finder.com Nicole McKnight said the survey results are generally surprising, considering that inflation has just hit a 30-year high in Canada. 

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the market at the moment and while cash is seen as a safe investment by the Canadian men who cited it as their top asset choice for 2022, they need to consider the inflation-adjusted return,” said McKnight. “In the short span of a year, inflation rates have risen dramatically from 1% to 4.8%. So it’s interesting that in a highly inflationary and relatively low interest rate environment, cash is the most popular investment, for men specifically.” 

According to McKnight, for Canadian women who cited real estate as their top choice over other investments in 2022, it’s possible that they are looking to buy a new home or refinance their mortgages while interest rates are still relatively low before the Bank of Canada begins raising the overnight rate (which they did today).

“Another possibility is they may believe real estate prices will continue to rise for 2022, which is a possibility, with the persistent low supply issues Canadian housing has had in recent years, specifically in high-demand regions and cities,” says McKnight. 

Out of the 26 countries included in the study, property was the top investment choice for 10 countries. According to the survey, the French are the most likely to be bullish on property this year (44%), followed by Austrians (33%), Australians (31%), and Chileans (30%). On the other end of the spectrum those from Japan are the most bearish (8%), followed by Turks (12%), Indians (13%), Brazilians (13%) and Hong Kongese (14%). 

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