Four in 10 Brits reckon only ‘wealthy’ people can invest, study finds

By Staff

In fact, the average adult believes that they would need at least £1,600 in order to start investing, to make it worthwhile

Four in 10 Brits believe that only “wealthy people” can invest – and typically believe that they would need at least £1,600 before they could start investing themselves.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that one in three would have no idea where to start when it comes to investing, with 32% lacking a sufficient understanding of how the process works. A quarter are unsure whether they could afford to invest, while 32% reckon they would be priced out before making any meaningful money out of it.

And more than two-thirds (68%) simply feel it is too complicated for them, and involves too much unnecessary jargon. However, 35% do have confidence in their investing ability – believing that if they were to invest today, they’d make a return. In light of the findings, an AI generated image has been created matching the vision of what respondents believed a typical “investor” to look like.

The sharp-looking man, in his early 40s, is wearing a well-fitted suit and a Rolex watch, and is surrounded by multiple smartphones, a briefcase, and a fancy bookcase, in his comfortable home office. One in six also said they imagined him wearing a Bluetooth headset, so that he could remain handsfree on calls – and eating an expensive steak with salad.

The research was commissioned by Virgin Money to support their ambition of helping investors grow their money as simply as possible – and to challenge stereotypical perceptions of what investors are. Jonathan Byrne, chief executive officer at Virgin Money Investments, said: “The landscape of investing has changed massively in recent years, becoming more accessible and popular with new audiences, especially young adults.

“This research shows many people still think of investing as out of reach and requiring large sums of money to get started – but that’s just not true. It’s actually becoming significantly simpler to do so – investing can be as straightforward as opening a savings account.” The study also found that just under half (49%) would be more inclined to try investing if they were able to do so with smaller sums of money – with an average of £166 a month considered a comfortable amount.

Stocks, or stocks & shares ISAs, were the most familiar methods of investing for respondents, alongside bonds and cryptocurrencies. And the research, carried out through OnePoll, found that 46% believe investing in a fund is seen as a good method of doing so.

The findings follow a study published last year, which found younger age groups have started to invest more. The FCA data identified a 6% increase among 18-24 and 25-34-year-olds, and a 5% increase among 35-44-year-olds, between 2020 and 2022.

Jonathan Byrne, from Virgin Money Investments, which enables people to invest from just £25 a month in a Stocks and Shares ISA, Investment account, or a pension, added: “Investing can be for anyone, and we believe it’s one of the best ways for people to grow their money.

“It’s easy to think it’s only for the wealthy, but that’s not the case anymore – the fact that more women and younger generations are getting involved with investing is a positive sign.

“We want to challenge the investor stereotype for good, and show that investing is a great option for lots of people. You certainly don’t need a fancy suit, Rolex, or home office to make your money work harder, which is why we’ve made investing straightforward, with no jargon, no waffle – just three no-nonsense options.”

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