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Young people like shares, but it's not all good news for advisers

More young people are becoming interested in share trading – but advisers aren’t expecting them to turn into clients any time soon.

Tuesday, May 9th 2017, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Both ANZ and ASB said they had noticed an increase in the number of young people who were buying shares over recent years.

At ANZ, general manager of wealth products Ana-Marie Lockyer said share investors had historically been aged over 45, but in the last few years there had been a noticeable increase in 20- to 40-year-olds.

She said that could be because 30-year-olds now have more disposable income, and because KiwiSaver has exposed them to the investment class.

At ASB, her counterpart Jonathan Beale said he had noticed the trend, too. “Millennials are getting much more interested in buying shares. They’re seeing it as a way of building wealth.”

But shares still lagged other investment vehicles.

The bank’s latest confidence survey showed that 75% of people had bank savings as their main or other investment.

That was followed by KiwiSaver – 60% - and “own home” at 54%. Just 17% cited shares.  Only 7% said shares were likely to have the best investment return this quarter.

Michael Dowling, president of the IFA, said there was an opportunity for advisers in young people becoming more interested.

But he said a lot of young people preferred to do their research before they went to an adviser for the transaction.

“Young people like to do the research themselves, trusting Wikipedia and Google.”

He said it became a less lucrative proposition for advisers, who would also have to repeat some of that research to meet their own regulatory requirements.

He said advisers had to consider how much work they were willing to put in before they broke even with younger clients.

They could take them on with the hope of their assets increasing to the point where serving them became a more viable exercise, but he said advisers had to consider how much “loss leading” they were willing to do.

Tags: financial advisers

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