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20 Dec 2017

Wealth management: young investors are more proactive

Older investors take a more hands-off approach to protecting their wealth than younger people, according to new research.

A survey of over 1,000 UK savers and 500 High Net Worth Individuals, commissioned by Rathbone Investment Management, revealed that over three quarters (77%) of investors aged between 18 and 34 have taken steps to protect their savings as a result of recent economic uncertainty. In comparison, just 36% of investors aged over 45 had done the same.

Rathbones said that rising inflation, historically low interest rates, and the ongoing Brexit negotiations have contributed to an atmosphere of heightened economic uncertainty in the past year. However, the research shows some striking differences in how the different generations are responding.

Nearly one in five (17%) 18-34 year olds have diversified their portfolio in the face of uncertainty, and a similar number (22%) have personally reviewed their portfolio. Meanwhile, the older generations are much less likely to have taken any steps to safeguard their wealth: one in ten (10%) have diversified their portfolio in the past year, and just 9% have personally reviewed their finances.

Robert Szechenyi, investment director at Rathbones, commented: “Younger generations — particularly millennials — have grown up during times of prolonged economic uncertainty, so it´s perhaps unsurprising that they are taking a hands-on approach to their finances. This strongly contrasts with that of older generations, who are by most accounts taking a much more passive approach to the current politically and economically volatile climate.

“Typically, it´s assumed that younger generations are less financially astute, but our research suggests the opposite. The start-up boom and rise of entrepreneurship in the UK means that younger generations are now much more clued up on their investments, and how best to protect and grow them.

“Higher inflation and the current economic uncertainty over Brexit mean that investors should be taking steps to ensure their portfolio can weather any storm as well as possible. A large part of this will be making sure that portfolios are well diversified.”

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