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Investor sentiment survey 2024

We reveal the results of our inaugural investor sentiment survey, powered by InvestNow.

12 March 2024

New Zealand investors are digitally savvy, confident in their ability to make decisions around financial products and positive about the future. Their salaries vary – from below $50,000 to over $250,000 – gender is slightly skewed male, and they love using online platforms and apps to generate wealth.

These are some of the key take outs from Informed Investor’s inaugural investor sentiment survey, powered by InvestNow. The survey of around 500 people put forward a wide range of questions to gauge how Kiwis view and engage with the investment market, and the results are enlightening. New Zealand investors can’t be stereotyped.

Sixty eight per cent of respondents were aged under 55. Investment used to be viewed as the pursuit of affluent males; in this survey 46 per cent of respondents were female.

The past 20 years have seen a transformation of the investment market in New Zealand; KiwiSaver and digital technology are pivotal to this.

The introduction of KiwiSaver in 2007 saw investment transformed from esoteric art into everyday activity. It gave Kiwis access to managed funds and the wealth they create, opening a portal to wider financial wellbeing.

Concurrently, the rise of fintech - platforms and apps - made markets more accessible.

“It removed barriers, democratised the financial markets and demystified the process,” says Mike Heath, general manager of InvestNow. “People are confident investing online.”

Here’s a snapshot of some of the key results from the survey.

How do you prefer to buy shares?

It’s no surprise that KiwiSaver comes out tops when it comes to buying shares. But managed funds, direct buying and ETFs are also popular. Online platforms provide investors with the opportunity to choose from a range of fund types, which they can monitor in real time. Only 20 per cent of investors use a broker for their stock purchases.

Investor confidence

When asked to rate their confidence in decision making around term deposits, 72 per cent of respondents answered they were “reasonably” or “very” confident. Around 77 per cent of respondents claimed that they were “reasonably” or “very” confident around decision-making around KiwiSaver.

When it came to direct shares, the responses were markedly different. Only 33 per cent claimed they were reasonably confident, with 15 per cent saying they were very confident in their ability to make good investment choices.

Motivation to invest

Retirement security, generation of wealth for family, and generation of income were the top three motivations for investors responding to this survey. Protection of assets came out fourth – but it seems that not many of us are speculators – just under 5 per cent of recipients listed this as a reason they invested.

What will we be investing in?

Shares, managed funds, and residential property are New Zealanders top choices when it comes to future investments. We’re not that keen on crypto (only 10 per cent planning to purchase crypto assets), and the esoterica of derivatives and futures appeal to just 1.4 per cent of us.

Online trading

Given the age range of participants (with 68 per cent of respondents under 55) it makes sense that a healthy majority use apps and online platforms to buy shares.

Dulani Jayasuriya is a lecturer at University of Auckland in Accounting and Finance. She says that apps and online platforms have brought trading opportunities to the masses.

“Previously, people had to have prior knowledge of markets and access to the right banks to invest in overseas markets – now people can access multiple markets: EFTs, crypto markets – and anyone can invest."

Looking ahead

Given the disruptions of the past few years, the positivity expressed by the investors involved in this survey is refreshing. Only 6.4 per cent felt negative about their possible returns in 2024, with 66 per cent feeling positive.

Heath believes this makes sense given the high level of investor confidence around decision-making when it comes to KiwiSaver and term deposits.

But he believes that 2024 will “largely follow on from 2023. Sure, there has been a change in government. And we are all looking to the Reserve Bank for movement on interest rates. But from a macroeconomic perspective, it’s not looking very different.”

Informed Investor's content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.


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