Over half of Brits are considering investing

What makes us want to invest?

When most people think about investment, the first thing that comes to mind is a lot of complicated figures and a busy broker in a pinstripe suit buying and selling thousands of shares a day. Well, things aren’t quite like that anymore, and investing is becoming more widespread and accessible to everyday people.

We asked Brits whether they would consider buying stocks and shares at some point in their life, and we found that over half of us (51%) are considering it and that there were a number of different reasons pushing people to explore the world of investments. Furthermore, a fifth (22%) of us say we have already got stocks and shares in some form.

Why do Brits invest?

Investors and potential investors appear to be driven by four main reasons:

  • Poor rates on their savings account: 43% of potential investors said that this was a factor.
  • How the company is performing: 32% of potential investors would buy shares from a company that’s doing well, while 15% would invest in a company that’s in trouble to get the shares at a cheaper price.
  • New investing apps that have made investing more accessible: 19% of potential investors said that easy-to-use apps are the reason they’re considering buying stocks and shares.
  • Other reasons: Others would invest because they like a company’s products (25%), ads or spokesperson (7%) or the owner or CEO (7%).

Reasons people invest

Reason to invest Percentage
A company was doing well so I wanted to invest 32%
A company wasn't doing well so I wanted to invest while cheap 15%
Investing is more accessible now 19%
More people appear to be investing now, I want to get involved 12%
Interest rates in savings accounts are poor 43%
I like the product(s) that the company sells 25%
I like the owner/CEO 7%
I like their adverts and/or celebrity spokespeople 7%
Other reasons 7%

Generational differences

Our survey shows that young people tend to find investing less intimidating and are more likely to give stocks a go. Here is a breakdown of the percentage of each generation that would consider investing in stocks and shares.
Generation Would invest in stocks
Silent (1928-1945) 36%
Bomers (1946-1964) 46%
Gen X (1965-1980) 56%
Millennials (1981-1996) 53%
Gen Z (1997-) 57%
  • The percentage of people who would buy stocks and shares decreases with age (from 57% of generation Z to 36% of the silent generation).
  • Millennials are the generation most likely to invest in a company because they like its ads or spokespeople.
  • Millennials are also the generation most likely to be tempted by investing apps.

Reasons different generations invest

Generation Other reasons I like the company's adverts/celebrity spokespeople I like the owner/CEO I like the product(s) of the company Interest rates in savings accounts are poor Other people are investing, I want to get involved Investing is more accessible due to apps Saw the company wasn't doing well Saw the company was doing well
Silent (1928-1945) 7% 7% 0% 47% 67% 10% 20% 13% 43%
Boomers (1946-1964) 10% 4% 5% 24% 53% 6% 18% 14% 34%
Gen X (1965-1980) 5% 8% 6% 22% 40% 13% 14% 15% 28%
Millennials (1981-1996) 5% 11% 8% 24% 35% 15% 25% 16% 31%
Gen Z (1997-) 4% 5% 13% 34% 30% 25% 14% 16% 43%
How many of us has already invested in stocks and shares?
  • Silent generation (1928-1945): 24% has invested in stocks
  • Boomers (1946-1964): 22% has invested in stocks
  • Generation X (1965-1980): 24% has invested in stocks
  • Millennials (1981-1996): 23% has invested in stocks
  • Generation Z (1997 onwards): 10% has invested in stocks

Gender differences

There’s a bit of a gender gap when it comes to investing, with women being less keen than men to try it out. 59% of men are either already investing their money or would consider doing it, against only 43% of women.
Gender Would invest Would not invest
Women 43% 57%
Men 59% 41%

Jon’s tips

It’s important to always remember that investing does not guarantee positive returns, but beginners who want to try investing can start by following a few basic tips:

  • Start small: don’t invest a lot of money before you know what you’re doing.
  • Compare different share dealing accounts, looking for something that has low fees but is also easy to use and offers a lot of knowledge that you can access.
  • Consider how much you’re prepared to lose, and perhaps only choose low-risk investment options at the beginning.
  • Always diversify your portfolio: don’t invest all your money in the same company.
  • Consider a fund or a set of funds instead of picking single companies yourself. Many providers will offer a selection of funds matching your risk profile and personal preferences. For example, you can decide to opt for an ethical fund.
  • If you aren’t using your ISA allowance already, with a stocks and shares ISA your investment profits won’t be taxed.
  • Invest for the long term and try not to focus too much on the short-term ups and downs.
  • Remember that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance and your investment can go down as well as up!

“It’s great that new mobile apps and increased accessibility are giving people the option to explore investing. Our research shows a clear indication that stocks and share trading is no longer just for those with access to brokers.”

– Jon Ostler, CEO of Finder UK

Methodology

Finder commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults aged 18+.

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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