Nearly half of savers do not research investments

Nearly half of savers do not research investments

Almost half (44 per cent) of investors said they wished they had spent more time researching their investment before making a decision, according to research.

Data from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Conduct Authority revealed that of the 37 per cent of UK adults who hold investments, almost half do not research their investments, stating it is “time-consuming”, or “too complicated”.

The research, which looked at Britons' attitudes towards investing, showed that when asked which tasks consumers spent the most time on, choosing a holiday (31 per cent), buying a house (26 per cent), doing laundry (24 per cent), buying a car (24 per cent) or checking social media (19 per cent) were ranked as the top five choices

Researching investments was not as high up the list with two in five (40 per cent) of those who have made financial investments wishing they had spent longer doing so. 

The FSCS and FCA said this raises concerns around the potential risks consumers can face, including investment scams, if they are unaware of where they are investing their money.

FSCS spokesperson Lila Pleban, said: "With almost two in five adults holding investments in the UK, it’s clear there’s a growing appetite to start investing as online platforms are making it easy and accessible for everyone. 

“But as our findings show, carving out time to research and look into investment opportunities is not always top of people’s to-do lists and unfortunately, puts them at a higher risk of being scammed or putting their money with an unprotected platform or provider.”

Findings also revealed that of those adults that held investments, more than a quarter (27 per cent) said they were more likely to invest in an “investment opportunity” with a limited time frame, such as “[being] only available for the next 24 hours". 

With time pressure being a common tactic used by scammers, the FCA urged individuals to check its warning list to see if the investment firm is operating without authorisation.

FCA director of enforcement Mark Steward, said: “Fraudsters will always find new ways to target consumers, so make sure you do your homework and spend some time doing research. 

“Just a few minutes can make a big difference to your investment choices. Make sure you’ve carried out the relevant checks.”

The survey, carried out by OnePoll among 2,000 UK adults, was conducted between December 10 and 23. Of those surveyed, 740 had at least one investment. 

More than one in 10 (11 per cent) of those Brits who had made a financial investment said they invest because their friends are investing, with 26 per cent saying they find it “fun”.

Brits aged between 18 and 24 with an investment said they were more likely to invest while watching TV/Netflix (13 per cent), at the pub (11 per cent), or coming back from a night out (7 per cent) compared to those over 25.

Around 14 per cent of respondents said they chose their investments because they were promoted by a celebrity or influencer via social media.