,  Press Release

PostFinance Investment Report: In Switzerland, a banking country, only half of all adults invest their money

In cooperation with the School of Business at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), PostFinance conducted an extensive survey on investment behaviour in Switzerland. The results show that little interest in the financial markets, a perceived lack of wealth, insufficient financial knowledge and fear are among the most important reasons why people don’t invest their money in securities. What’s surprising is the high proportion of young Generation Z investors.

Some of them have only recently reached legal age, and are at the beginning of their professional careers, but already investing – this is Generation Z, mature individuals born between 1997 and 2004. This generation already invests as frequently as the preceding Generation Y born between 1981 and 1996. These are the results of the “PostFinance Investment Report”, which polled over 3,000 people throughout Switzerland. “The proportion of Generation Z investors is unexpectedly high,” says the author of the study, Prof. Dr Andreas Dietrich from the HSLU. “This could be because many people of this generation grew up in a period marked by strong price rises on the stock markets. The price slumps of the last financial crisis are a thing of the distant past for many people of this generation.” In general, Generation Z seems to have more confidence in the financial markets than Generation Y, who were born between 1981 and 1996.

“The investment universe can seem imposing and intimidating.”

As the report shows, the typical investor tends to be male, older than 58, comes from German-speaking Switzerland, has completed tertiary education and has above-average assets and income. A significantly larger proportion of respondents (55 percent) from German-speaking Switzerland invest their money than those from French-speaking Switzerland (39 percent) or Ticino (38 percent). The main reasons why respondents don’t invest are that they have little interest in the financial markets, they lack wealth (although this is partly a subjective perception) or financial knowledge, and fear making mistakes and incurring losses. Although many banks now offer simple investment products, only half of all households in Switzerland currently invest their money in securities. “The investment universe, with buzzwords like shares, bonds, structured products or funds, seems imposing and intimidating to many,” says PostFinance Chief Investment Officer, Philipp Merkt. “And it’s understandable that you might worry about whether you are making a mistake due to inexperience. There’s also a firmly entrenched belief that investing requires a large fortune and a lot of financial knowledge.”

Nowadays, thanks to digital services, you can invest in securities with small amounts and acquire sufficient knowledge about the right investment strategy for your personal requirements, even with little time. “It’s up to us as banks to make it as easy as possible for people to invest, and to dispel their fear of investing,” Merkt adds.

Sustainability is important for half of the respondents

The report confirms that men are more likely to invest their money than women, and older people more than younger people. The more financial knowledge and interest in finance a person has, the more likely they are to invest their money. Sustainability in investing is important to more than half of the respondents across all generations. However, there are differences here between those who already invest and those who don’t. Sustainable products are important for almost 60 percent of the investors who took part in the survey. Older people are more likely to agree that sustainable investing is important to them than younger generations. Younger non-investors, on the other hand, agreed more often than older generations that they would be more likely to invest if a wide range of sustainable investment products was available.

To the PostFinance Investment Report

The reasons why private individuals in Switzerland don’t invest have until now been subject to little research. There have been no large-scale studies on this topic so far. The unstable economic situation due to inflation and war has made this very topical. In cooperation with the HSLU, PostFinance conducted a representative population survey of 3,000 people from all over Switzerland. The results of the survey are now available in the “PostFinance Investment Report 2022”, which can be found online at postfinance.ch/anlegen-report.