72% of 18-34 year olds turn to financial ‘influencers’ for advice, Janus Henderson research reveals

With such varied perceptions on the value of various investment types, and indeed on the appropriate level of risk appetite, many investors seek some kind of advice or guidance to help them make decisions. Along with knowing where to go for a bit of direction, better and more comprehensive financial education should also play a key part in helping ensure that investment decisions properly reflect life stage and financial goals.

New research from Janus Henderson Investment found:

  • Two in five UK investors (42%) received no financial education at school and that figure is static amongst those at university.
  • Looking at the key influences on investors’ behaviour, advisers are found to have the most impact for 64%
  • Closely followed by books and websites (62%), newspapers and the media (56%), and family (54%)
  • Despite significant growth in the use of social media, just 25% said these platforms had a bearing on their investment decisions
  • Online financial ‘influencers’ were listened to by 72% of those aged 18-34, while 61% took note of social media when making investment decisions. This compares with 21% and 6% respectively for the over 55s.
  • Two thirds (76%) of those aged 18-34 describe their approach as either ‘hesitant’, ‘cautious’, ‘extremely cautious’, or ‘risk averse’
  • At the other end of the scale, 20% of those aged 55+ describe their approach as speculative
  • 32% still say that they have received no financial education at work
  • This dramatically rises to 44% among those 55+ which is particularly worrying given the financial challenges posed by retirement

James de Sausmarez, Head of Investment Trusts, Janus Henderson comments: “What really shines through from these findings is the need for better understanding of the different types of products available for investors, which life stages the varying products are suitable for, and the trigger points that should prompt a shift in investment strategy. 

“Typically, those younger investors should be taking the opportunity provided by the potential length of their investing life to be bolder in their strategy. That so many of this cohort appear to be taking a cautious, lower risk approach means that they are undermining their own financial future. Whether investors are passionate about equities, bonds, or investment trusts, each asset class can play an important part of a balanced portfolio. But getting that balance right is crucial.” 

Influential in investing approach
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
School 16% 21% 44% 26% 5%
University 20% 24% 48% 29% 9%
At work 31% 40% 57% 42% 23%
Friends and family 44% 67% 76% 70% 38%
Financial adviser 59% 69% 69% 66% 61%
Books/ website 60% 65% 84% 74% 49%
Social media 19% 31% 61% 37% 6%
Online financial influencers 35% 43% 72% 48% 21%
Newspapers/ media 58% 52% 65% 63% 49%


Had no financial education from this source
All Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
School 42% 45% 39% 18% 34% 55%
University 42% 44% 40% 19% 33% 55%
At work 32% 34% 30% 12% 23% 44%


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