Legg Mason survey: Age matters in technology

40 years old and above Italian investors say they are less confident and open to alternative investment channels linked with new devices and opportunities provided by the web than millennials, a recent Legg Mason survey has revealed.

These are some of the first features coming out from the new 4th Global Investment Survey conducted by Legg Mason Global Asset Management, one of the leading global asset managers.

The survey was conducted in 19 countries and polled over 5,000 respondents.

It compared the trends and behaviour of two age groups: investors between 40 and 75 years old and investors between 18 and 39 years old.

In detail, the survey highlights that only 13% of older investors are willing to purchase investments through a mobile device, compared to 35% of their younger compatriots.

Just 12% of those over 40 are inclined to buy investments through mainstream online merchants – such as Amazon – compared to 30% of Italian millennials.

In addition, 30% of millennials are willing to purchase investments through a dedicated application (such as Schwab), with only 10% of older Italian investors doing so.

32% of millennials would consider going through an automated online advice platform, compared to just 10% of the over 40.
27% of Italian millennial investors are willing to purchase investments through a social media platform, compared to just 8% of older investors.

Deep differences emerge when considering one of the most discussed topic related to new technologies: robo-advisors. While 69% of investors over-40 are comfortable making investments based on advice coming from their own FA, only 35% would feel confident if supported by a robo-advisor. On the contrary, 67% of millennials would be comfortable with a robo-advisor.

There is a common feature between the two groups of investors though, differentiating Italy from the other European countries where the survey has been conducted: the role of the financial adviser.

More than half of older Italian investors (53%) work with a financial advisor: the highest percentage in Europe after Belgium (59%), and considerably more than countries such as Germany (35%), France (36%) and UK (36%).
Among Millennials the role of the financial advisor is even more important: 70% of Italian millennials use one, the highest percentage in Europe after France (73%).

“Our survey highlights that the role of the financial adviser is getting more and more important in our country” – affirms Marco Negri (pictured), country head for Italy at Legg Mason Global Asset Management. “In our 2015 survey, just 40% reported using a financial adviser, and now more than half (53%) do.

This fact points out that, in a market environment turning more and more difficult and running out of safe and profitable investments – Italian investors – whatever their age – feel an increasing need for an expert able to give advice tailored to their needs and risk appetite.

New technologies will become an additional tool to traditional channels and professionals in investors’ life, but it is no wonder that millennials appear to be more open and inclined to them, as it already happens in other sectors” Negri concludes.

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