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Share trading statistics New Zealand

Find out how Kiwis are investing their money, why they choose to invest and why many are still reluctant.

There are 1.4 million Kiwis investing in shares across the country. This number grows to 2.1 million investors when other assets like cryptocurrency, property and bonds are taken into account. With savings rates at historical lows, it’s no wonder so many Kiwis are looking for ways to earn a better return.

Finder conducted a nationally representative survey of New Zealanders to find out how Kiwis are investing their money, why they choose to invest and why many are still reluctant.

Where are Kiwis investing their money?

More than half of Kiwis (56%) are investing their money in some way, according to a Finder survey of 1,504 respondents in May 2022.

Shares are the most common form of investment, with more than a third (38%) holding a stake in the stock market.

Property comes in second place, with 14% building wealth through an investment property, while 11% own cryptocurrency and 8% invest in bonds.

Men (63%) are more likely to invest than women (49%), with the exception of micro-investing apps like Raiz where women take the lead.

Between the generations, millennials take the lead when it comes to share trading (46%), cryptocurrency (22%) and property (18%), but baby boomers are the most likely to claim they invest in other ways (22%).

What are the reasons people invest in shares?

Unsurprisingly, the most common reason Kiwis invest in shares is to earn a good return on their investment, with 53% citing this as their motivation.

Nearly half (45%) do so because of poor savings interest rates, while 36% are building their wealth for retirement.

Other common drivers include the ease and accessibility of investing through apps (29%), wanting to invest while a stock’s price was cheap (26%) and because a company was consistently growing (21%).

Male investors are more likely to buy shares because they deliver a good return on investment (56% compared to 49%) and because they like the product the company sells (15% compared to 9%).

Meanwhile, women are more likely to invest to build their retirement fund (40% compared to 34%) and because a family member or friend told them it was a good investment (17% compared to 12%).

Baby boomers are the most likely to invest to combat poor savings rates (58%), compared to just 21% of generation Z. Over a third of millennials (38%) and generation X (33%) are investing because apps have made it easier, compared to just 12% of baby boomers.

More than 1 in 10 generation Z investors (12%) admit they have bought shares because they liked the owner or CEO of the company, compared to just 2% of generation X.

Why are some reluctant to invest in shares?

Despite the enthusiasm of some, the majority of Kiwis have yet to start investing in shares. Among this group, the most likely reason for not investing is not having enough money to do so (29%).

You don’t need thousands or even hundreds of dollars to start investing. In fact, micro-investing platforms let you invest as little as you like, whether that’s $1 a day or the spare change from your coffee order. Popular platforms Hatch, Stake and Sharesies all offer options for micro-investing.

The second most common reason Kiwis are not investing in shares is because they don’t know how (28%).

Just over a quarter believe shares are too risky or volatile (26%), while 22% are simply not interested and 22% admit they wouldn’t know which stocks to buy.

For those new to investing, exchange traded funds (ETFs) are a great place to start because you only have to invest in a single fund to get access to a diverse portfolio of shares.

Women are more likely to say they aren’t sure how to invest (34% compared to 20%) and that they wouldn’t know which stock to buy (25% compared to 19%), whereas men are more likely to avoid share trading because they feel it’s too risky or volatile (30% compared to 23%).

What are the most popular share trading platforms?

Sharesies is the most popular share trading platform in New Zealand, with 53% of Kiwi investors using it according to a Finder survey of 564 investors.

This is followed by ASB Securities (17%) and Hatch (12%). Only 10% of investors surveyed don’t use any online trading platforms.

Generation Z (81%) and female (65%) investors are the most likely to use Sharesies, whereas baby boomers are the most likely to use ASB Securities (21%) and Direct Broking (20%).

Nearly all of generation Z (98%) and millennial investors (96%) use online trading platforms, compared to 78% of baby boomers.

Where do Kiwis get their investing advice from?

According to the survey, 4 in 5 investors (79%) admit to receiving some form of investing advice. The most common sources of advice are family members or friends (29%) and the news (28%).

A quarter of Kiwi investors use a financial adviser (24%), while 17% seek advice from their partners and another 17% listen to finance podcasts.

Female investors are more likely to seek advice from family or friends (36% compared to 24%) and from their partners (27% compared to 9%). Male investors are more likely to tune into the news (32% compared to 22%) or hire a financial adviser (26% compared to 21%).

Social media is the top source of investing advice for generation Z investors, with nearly half (44%) admitting they get their share trading information online. Generation X investors are most likely to tune into the news before making investment decisions (31%), whereas baby boomers are the most likely to head to a financial adviser (33%).

How to start investing

Start small. You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. If you haven’t got much in your bank account, micro-investing apps are a great way to invest with your spare change. If you buy a coffee for $4.60 for instance, these apps will round the cost to $5 and invest the remaining $0.40 in the fund of your choice. Popular share trading apps like Sharesies, Hatch and Stake all have micro-investing options.

Keep it simple. Most of us don’t have the time to be tracking market movements on a day-to-day basis. Unless you want to be a full-time day trader, it’s best to keep things simple. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are a great way to get a diversified portfolio of shares without having to invest in hundreds of individual stocks, so you can spread your risk and save on the extra trading fees.

Don’t worry about bulls and bears. The stock market is always moving around, but if you’re investing for the long term, these day-to-day movements are nothing to worry about. The news is a great place to learn about which companies and which markets are doing well, but don’t overload yourself with information that’s only going to stress you out. Focus on growing your long-term wealth and it won’t matter whether we’re in a bull market or a bear market.


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