Global Investor Study

Investing is prioritised over property and savings

Investors are prioritising further investment over buying property, paying down debt or putting the money in savings accounts, a new study has found.


Investors are prioritising further investment over buying property, paying down debt or putting the money in savings accounts, a new study has found. 39% of Hong Kong investors, asked about their plans for their disposable income in the next year, said putting money into markets was a top priority. Only 17% said depositing in a bank savings account was most important, while 13% said purchasing a property.

Schroders Global Investor Study (GIS) 2017, which surveyed more than 22,000 people from around the globe who invest, found the propensity to invest in markets was strongest in Asia and lowest in the Americas and Europe.

What investors are doing with disposable income

Source: Schroders Global investor Study, 2017. Due to rounding, the lists may not add up to 100%.

Sheila Nicoll OBE, Head of Public Policy at Schroders, said: 

“It is encouraging that nearly 40% of investors globally are going to make either further investing or saving a priority in the next year. Pension is a main focus for an additional 10% of investors. In contrast, only 11% are prioritising luxury spending.

“If people can make regular saving and investing a habit, it will ultimately make it far easier for them to realise their financial goals.”

Who makes investment a priority?

People in Asia were most likely to prioritise investing in markets:

  • 32% prioritised investing, compared to 20% of Europeans and 19% for investors in the Americas.

This pattern was also reflected in results for markets. The table below shows the markets where people were most inclined to make investing a top priority for the next year. Asian markets are clustered around the top. Western markets, in contrast, are crowded around the bottom, bar the notable inclusion of South Korea at the foot of the table.

The markets that priorities investing ... and those that don't

Source: Schroders Global Investor Study 2017

In Europe, the highest commitment to investing was in Sweden (29%) followed by Italy (26%) and Portugal (23%).

When it came to prioritising debt, Canada came top globally (18%) followed by South Africa (17%), the Netherlands (16%) and Australia (14%). Chinese investors were least likely to consider clearing debt – only 2% said it was important.

Spending on big-ticket luxuries was of greatest importance in Austria, where 21% of people named it as a top priority. Australia and the UK were in joint second place on this measure, with 17% of respondents making luxury spending a priority. It was of least importance in Taiwan and Indonesia where only 2% and 4%, respectively, made it their primary concern.

Saving remains popular

Despite the historic returns offered by investments tend to be higher, investors in many markets regarded deposit accounts as the best home for their spare cash in the next year.

Saving was more popular in Portugal, at 29% versus 23% for investment, in Russia, at 24% compared to 18%, and also in France (21% versus 16%).

In Asia, South Koreans also preferred to put money in the bank, at 19% v 12%. Even in the US, which has a strong investing culture, it was at 16% versus 17%.

Prioritisation of saving vs investing

Source: Schroders Global Investor Study 2017


Important Information
Schroders commissioned Research Plus Ltd to conduct, between 1st and 30th June 2017, an independent online study of 22,100 investors in 30 countries around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US. This research defines ‘investors’ as those who will be investing at least €10,000 (or the equivalent) in the next 12 months and who have made changes to their investments within the last ten years. These individuals represent the views of investors in each country included in the study.
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