A recent survey undertaken by KiwiWealth of New Zealanders perceptions of wealth and approaches to wealth creation shows some interesting yet predictable results. It turns out we are a very conservative bunch and that has implications for our ability to create wealth.
About one third of all Kiwis surveyed believe they are struggling to make ends meet or just managing to get by. Over 40% of those surveyed said they are living from payday to payday and 33% said they have no money set aside for emergencies.
For those who have some savings, the key goals are saving for a deposit for a first home or saving for retirement. On average, those people surveyed had around $27,000 invested, of which their main form of investment made up around $20,000. Just under 70% of those surveyed had a KiwiSaver account, around 62% had money in a savings account and around 34% had money in a term deposit. The next most popular forms of investment, but well behind, are shares (20% of those surveyed), residential rental property (15%) and managed funds (12%). Other forms of investment such as exchange-traded funds, Government bonds, crytopcurrency, commercial property, peer-to-peer lending and equity crowd-funding barely rated a mention and in fact, a large percentage of people said they would never invest in these things.
We are a boring lot. Many of us complain that we are struggling with our money and worried about our retirement, yet what little savings we have are in a narrow range of investments. Only 22% of those surveyed are risk takers, and while most people understood the importance of diversification, 70% said they don’t own a diversified range of investments. It would seem that risk aversion and lack of knowledge of investment options are the two key barriers to wealth creation.