Of particular interest are the data from Schroders’ Global Investor Study 2022, in which more than 23,000 investors in 33 countries worldwide participated.
Issues related to climate change are seen as the most important commitment priority in all countries. Three however, Mexico, South Korea and Belgium ranked natural capital and biodiversity issues as the most critical, which demonstrates the importance of environment-related issues.
In addition, investors around the world choose mutual funds based on their personal needs and principles. In fact, more than half of “experienced” investors state that their personal principles are “of great importance” to them. Furthermore, the importance investors place on their values and principles increases with age. Almost 2 in 10 (76%) aged 71+ prioritize these aspects, possibly indicating that older investors are more confident and firm in their views.
According to Dimitris Batzis, head of Greece, Cyprus and Malta: “The mutation of investment criteria is more evident than ever, both in Greece and globally. Younger investors (ages 18-37), for example, are more likely to consider their principles and values when making investment decisions than investors in later life (ages 38-50). Also noteworthy is the level of “investment illiteracy” we found with the Schroders study – a fact we focus on as a Group, as well as the need to educate and empower investors.”
Another characteristic of the study is that the respondents overwhelmingly believe that as shareholders, they should have the ability to influence the companies in which they have invested. 95% of “experienced/advanced” investors believe they should be able to do this, as do 69% of “newbies”.
Furthermore, around 82% of ‘experienced/advanced’ investors believe they have sufficient knowledge to feel confident in making investment decisions about their financial future, while only a quarter (26%) of ‘novice/elementary’ investors knowledge’ investors feel informed enough to do so.
This demonstrates the need for better financial education and the role that financial service providers must play. More than half (51%) believe that investment firms should be responsible for ensuring the adequate level of knowledge of employees in personal financial matters – Greeks also agree that there is a need for more education, while 33% believe that this should be the responsibility of financial advisors.
However, 45% of Greeks believe that educational institutions should have a role in educating people about financial matters, while less than a quarter (20%) believe that it is their personal responsibility.
In addition, the study shows that people around the world now feel more confident in accessing investments that may have been considered “off limits” in the past. Private assets are a particular example, with 47% of investors feeling they have access to both private equity and digital assets.
However, while most respondents feel confident investing in private assets, some categories are still considered complex and require additional support from financial providers and advisors to access. This is particularly true in the infrastructure sector, where investors were more likely to invest through a product offered by a third party, such as a mutual fund (41%), than directly (37%).
In conclusion, Georg Wunderlin, Global Head of Private Assets, Schroders Capital, points out that: “There is growing interest from individual investors in building a holistic portfolio that includes private and public investments, as evidenced by our global study. Our teams are able to offer private investors access to this through a range of specialist private asset tools and mixed solutions, which include both private and public assets.”