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More than half of Canadians equate their investing style to that of a marathon runner, according to new research.

BMO InvestorLine, Toronto, Ont., published this finding in a summary of results from a study that identifies which sports and types of athletes Canadians most identify with respecting their investing habits.

Fifty-three percent of the survey respondents see themselves as the investing equivalent of a marathon runner, the study finds. For these Canadians, investing is a long and winding road because they are in the markets for the long-haul.

Additionally, 34% of Canadians hold some short-term and some long-term investments. These investors see themselves as part of a relay race team, as their goals are both short term, focusing on one leg of the race, and long term, like the total distance covered during a relay race.

Only 12% of Canadians consider their investing style similar to that of a sprinter athlete. For these individuals, it is all about getting in and out of the markets quickly.

Regarding their investing style:

Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) of Canadian investors most closely identify with a gymnast because “a sense of balance” is critical for them when managing risk and return.

Thirty-one per cent describe their investing style as conservative. Like an archer, they aim to “hit their targets” and do not waver from their strategy.

Only 10% identify with the aggressive style of a boxer who goes for the “knockout punch”. These investors are comfortable with high risk if there is the potential for high return.

The study also finds that the majority of Canadians are upbeat about the performance of their investments over the next four years:

The majority (57%) believe their portfolios will perform better in the next four years than in the last four-year period.

Only 5% believe their investment returns to be poor.