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News Release - Eight-out-of-ten Brits are 'share-o-phobic' and don't invest in the stock markets

News Release - Eight-out-of-ten Brits are 'share-o-phobic' and don't invest in the stock markets


New research reveals savers would rather leave their money in low-interest cash accounts than invest it in the stock markets, despite recognising this could potentially give them better returns in the long-term.

The research, from specialist financial mutual Wesleyan, found eight-out-of-ten Brits are 'share-o-phobic' and don't invest in the stock markets. More than half (58%†) thought investing was only for the rich, a figure which jumped to 62%† among under 35s.

Only 12% of people have invested in the stock market, either through funds or individual company stocks, according to the new research.

That is despite more than two thirds (70%†) believing that investing in the stock market could make them more money in the long-term.

Missing out on money

Cash savings are also failing to keep pace with the rate of inflation and so in real terms savers are losing money.

Wesleyan data revealed that if a saver put away £1,000 each year for ten years in a cash ISA earning 1.09% interest*, at the end of ten years that savings pot could have decreased in real terms by £817**.

However, if the same money had been invested in a Wesleyan moderate-risk With Profits ISA earning 5.4% annualised return, the total invested could have increased in real terms by more than £1,796**.

Barriers to investment

Investments in the stock market could be one way to beat low interest rates for long-term savers but people said they are turned-off because of the element of risk involved.

When asked, two thirds (66%) of people said they wouldn't consider anything that put their capital at risk

Two thirds (66%†) of those who held an investment property, such as a second home, said they felt the stock market was too risky - although having a diverse investment portfolio helps to reduce the risk that comes with investing.

Robert Vaudry, Investments Managing Director at Wesleyan said: "It's understandable that some people may be nervous about investing in the stock markets but, by keeping most of their money in cash-based investments, they could be missing out on the potential for greater returns if they're saving for the long-term.

"The sensible approach is to have a portfolio of savings that gives you exposure to both cash and share-based investments.

"A with profits fund is a good way to get involved in investing as it smooths the ups and downs of the market, offering some protection in times of market volatility.

"If you're unsure about next steps but want to take the plunge speak to a financial adviser."

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance and the value of your investment can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you have invested.

Research based on a survey of 2,110 respondents by Censuswide on behalf of Wesleyan, February 2018.

'Share-o-phobic' refers to respondents who do not have any shares/investments in the stock markets.

* Assumed £1,000 invested on 1 January each year for ten years invested into an average cash ISA with a rate of 1.09% (Moneyfacts.co.uk 16 January 2018)

** Impact of 2.5% inflation on savings and investments

† Results calculated after removing 'Neither agree nor disagree' respondents'

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