Finance

Risky business? Brits are looking for more high-risk investments

By Oliver Smith 25 November 2016
Summary

As saving becomes harder than ever before, many of us are throwing caution to the wind.

It might surprise you, but in these uncertain times people are actually willing to take more risks with their money.

That’s the finding of a new study that found that 39% of investors said they are happy for more – excuse the pun – risky business than they were a year ago.

But hang on, haven’t we just gone through Brexit and the election of Donald Trump? Shouldn’t people be desperate to put their savings somewhere safe, like a bank?

High risk, high return

“Usually you would be right,” Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO of crowdfunding site SyndicateRoom, told The Memo.

“But at the same time interest rates are so low that the safe option basically means you’re losing money.”

SyndicateRoom ran the survey of 1,000 ordinary UK investors along with FTI Consulting.

Indeed with typical savings accounts at the bank offering just 0.5% interest, or lower, and with inflation and the prices of goods rising by more than that every year, we’re literally becoming poorer.

“My guess, is that that pushes people to look for higher risk, higher return asset classes,” says Vasconcelos. “You have to do something about your money, otherwise you are definitely losing.”

The war against savers

Obviously Vasconcelos would say this; crowdfunding is by definition a risky investment and the fact that Brits are looking for higher risk and higher returns is good news for SyndicateRoom.

But there’s a fair point here. Saving money is becoming a difficult game, and not just for ‘investors’.

Just yesterday Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed a new Government bond that pays back 2.2% in order to help ordinary savers.

Even if you invested the maximum £3,000 over three years, you’d still only get a meagre £202 back in profit back, and that’s pretty good compared to everything else out there.

As we’re feeling the pinch and purse strings are tighter than ever before, perhaps it’s not shocking that people have a more laissez-faire attitude towards investing their money.

As the saying goes: go big or go home.