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Virus crisis to cause surge in young investors

Virus crisis to cause surge in young investors

The market slump caused by the coronavirus crisis combined with greater accessibility to the stock market via new apps and platforms is set to cause a surge in young investors, according to a report.

Research from finder.com, published last week (May 26) in its report Investing in a coronavirus world: A brave new dawn?, showed consumers who fell into the ‘generation Z’ or ‘millennial’ categories were 66 per cent more likely than ‘baby boomers’ to invest in the next 12 months.

Finder polled 2,000 consumers mid-May and found more than a quarter of generation Z and millennials (28 and 26 per cent respectively) said the market crash had made them more likely to invest over the next year.

This was almost three times higher than ‘the silent generation’ (those aged 73), only 10 per cent of whom were more likely to invest, and baby boomers (16 per cent), the report said.

Younger investors pointed to the rise in trading apps and the accessibility they provided as one of the reasons behind their move towards investing.

More than one in four (44 per cent) millennial investors said the accessibility of trading apps was a reason behind their interest while 32 per cent appreciated the low cost of investing this way.

In contrast, baby boomers were much less likely to cite both the accessibility of trading apps (18 per cent) and the low fees they offer (13 per cent).

Cristina Puscas, associate analyst at Platforum, believed the rise in tech had been key to attracting younger investors. 

She said: “One of the contributing factors is improved technologies, as fast and sleek user experience and mobile-driven features have simplified...accessing investments and trading.”

More people invest

Overall, the proportion of UK consumers investing in the stock market has increased over the past two years.

Some 33 per cent of those polled currently owned shares, compared with 22 per cent in 2018, while more than two thirds (67 per cent) of consumers planned to invest in the future, a 30 per cent increase on the figures recorded for 2018.

Accessibility was a key factor, with 19 per cent citing the availability of easy-to-use apps and trading platforms as a reason they would invest, while 37 per cent suggested low interest rates had pushed them towards the stock market.

The Bank of England base rate, which affects the rate of interest earned on cash savings, has dwindled below 1 per cent for the past decade and was recently slashed to a historic low of 0.1 per cent.

“You’ve got this double whammy that’s hitting cash - low interest rates and negative real rates, and secondly, quantitative easing and fiscal stimulus plans that are literally devaluing money,” said Giles Coghlan, chief currency analyst at the broker HYCM. 

“If you keep your money in the bank, you can expect it to lose value.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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