23 March 2022
What’s all the fuss with digital investing?
In the last few years, there has been a noticeable increase in New Zealanders investing in the stock market through digital channels. This is largely thanks to the ease and convenience of online brokerage services, which allow investors to buy and sell shares without having to go through a traditional stockbroker. Platforms such as Sharesies, Hatch and Stake give New Zealanders the chance to dabble on the stock market.
Research by the Financial Services Council (FSC) reveals that 38.2 percent of adult New Zealanders currently use, or plan to use, micro-investing platforms. “That is about 1.5 million Kiwis and reflects a transformational shift in how we are choosing to invest our money,” says FSC CEO Richard Klipin. “That’s no longer at the fringe.”
This trend has been helped by the fact that the New Zealand stock market is relatively small and easy to navigate, and that a large number of online brokers are based in the country. In addition, a growing number of Kiwis are becoming comfortable with using technology to manage their finances, thanks to the proliferation of online banking and e-commerce.
According to the FSC research, investing in New Zealand shares, international shares and cryptocurrency has increased 6 - 7 percent between March 2020 and April 2021 alone. Of the respondents who have used, are using or considering using micro-investing platforms, 40 percent found them easy to use, and over a third used them to improve their financial knowledge and capabilities.
Traditional technology is well used by all of us, with 90 percent of over 50-year-olds using online services, such as online banking and money transfer services, such as Paypal. When looking specifically at micro-investing, around 50 percent of 60-year-olds and older have or plan to use a micro-investing platform.
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Despite using the technologies on offer, many are still wary. Older generations are less confident than their younger counterparts about adopting new technologies before others, likely as a result of cyber security concerns.
“Most respondents were concerned with the risk of online fraud, identity theft or scams, that could result in financial loss,” says Richard.
“Eighty per cent are concerned about online privacy; after a number of high-profile cyber-attacks and ransomware attacks, it’s understandable and encouraging that many are wary about the privacy of their personal information and their finances when using online platforms."
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