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Press release: Online Investing Report

16 Feb, 2022

Crypto ownership surges & mobile trading grows as cash balances swell - Boring Money Online Investing Report 2022

  • Crypto ownership doubles in a year among younger adults

  • Cash saver average balance swells to £17,000

  • Mobile use continues to grow

  • Newer investors are being influenced by friends/social

Data from Boring Money today reveals radical changes in the UK retail investor population over the last year. As many as 12% of adults age under 45 now report owning some crypto assets, double the same figure a year ago.

The data comes from Boring Money’s Online Investing Report, using its flagship annual survey of more than 6,000 UK adults. It also shows mobile is becoming an increasingly dominant medium for younger investors buying funds and shares, while social influences are now a critical factor prompting people to start investing for the first time.

It comes as the FCA last year raised concerns about the volume of newer investors attracted to high-risk investments, and the risk of ‘low friction’ trading on mobile*.

Crypto assets

The proportion of adults aged under 45 that report holding some crypto assets has doubled in a single year to 12% (2021:6%). Among those age over 45, ownership is significantly lower at 3% (2021:2%).

Overall 7% of the UK adult population holds some crypto assets today, and a further 3% state they have held cryptos in the past.

Mobile

Use of mobile as means of accessing an investment account is up compared to the previous year. 43% of investors report checking the balance on their account on mobile (2021:36%), while 19% report buying or selling through a mobile app (2021:16%).

Mobile functionality is particularly critical for younger investors, who cite it as one of the key factors influencing their provider selection. Among new investors with less than 3 years’ experience, the ability to manage investments via a mobile app is much more likely to be cited as an important factor, while the wider investor population as more likely to prioritise telephone support.

Cash

The annual Report studies both the behaviours and attitudes of UK retail investors, as well as those of cash savers with no investments.It shows that although many cash savers have suffered during the pandemic, depleting their cash reserves, average cash savings balances have surged. On average, those with cash savings but no investments now hold £17,000 (2021: £14,600) and 30% have in excess of £10,000.

Simultaneously, there are also a significant proportion of individuals investing in funds and shares despite having relatively modest cash buffers in place. The figures show 27% of those people investing today have less than £10,000 in total cash and investment assets, with the majority of this group being younger adults.

New Investors

According to the data, one in five (21%) of the total UK retail investor population is made up of individuals with less than 3 years’ experience investing (7% have been investing less than a year). Of these new investors, a quarter are living in rented accommodation, while 18% live with parents.

For younger investors, the influence of those around them has been a significant prompt to start their first account. As many as 40% of the youngest investors, age 18-24, say that a friend or family member encouraged them to open their first investment product.

Boring Money CEO, Holly Mackay, says:

“There is a ‘Book End’ effect in the DIY investment market today. At one end we have millions of people in cash, with significant balances, and no investments. At the other end, we have some relatively inexperienced, mostly younger investors holding extremely volatile assets. There is a more natural middle ground for millions, and providers have to find some answers on how transition more customers to that more comfortable middle ground.”

Data from Boring Money collected in January 2022 with a nationally representative survey of 6,305 UK adults

*FCA Consumer Investments Strategy 2021

For more information contact Mike Glenister on 07503 178 178