New year, new beginnings: majority of UK adults are on a mission to improve their financial health in 2022

  •  New research by abrdn of 2000 UK adults shows more than half (55%) are determined to improve their financial health in 2022
  • Overall, almost half (45%) plan to invest their money in 2022, though research identifies clear gender and age differences in people’s plans to invest – alongside major barriers that remain
  • More than a third (34%) of UK adults would be more willing to invest if they knew it would have a positive impact on society, while 32% would pick an investment that made a societal difference even if returns were lower

More than half (55%) of UK adults are determined to improve their financial health in 2022, according to new research by global investment company abrdn.

After the unavoidable challenges and obstacles created by the pandemic, it’s clear that many are now ready to do what it takes to make their money work harder for them in the year ahead.

Saving more (47%), spending less (44%) and investing their money (45%) are among the most popular things UK adults plan to do to make a positive change.

Three in five (60%) believe taking care of their financial health in 2022 could help them to support others, while almost seven in ten (69%) see the benefit it could bring to their overall health, happiness and wellness.

When it comes to investing, 54% believe that investing their money could have a positive impact on society, while a similar number (53%) want to support causes they care about while investing.

Jonny Black, Strategic Director at abrdn, said: “Many are committed to improving their financial health in 2022, not only for the benefit of themselves and their families, but also for the communities and environment around them.

“Based on our research, around 19 million UK adults will look to invest their money in 2022 – creating a whole world of opportunities for both their finances and the world around them in the long-term. Being aware of this, alongside the shorter-term benefits of cutting back or saving more, will help position them for a bright future as they seek to take control of their finances and make their money work harder.”

abrdn’s research also highlighted significant age and gender differences in people’s plans to make their money grow in 2022.

Just a third (35%) of women plan to invest in 2022 compared to more than half (56%) of men. Meanwhile, 69% of 18–24-year-olds want to invest, versus just 38% of those aged 45 and over.

The research also demonstrated that there are barriers that clearly remain an issue for those that do not plan to invest in 2022.

These include not having the spare money to invest (38%), not trusting the risks of investments (36%) and the assumption that it is only for those with a lot of money (24%).

More than a third (34%) would be willing to invest if they knew it was having a positive impact on society, while 32% would invest in something they cared about even if the returns were lower.

Currently, 37% of UK adults hold money in stocks, shares or bonds – 46% of men versus 28% of women.

Two thirds (65%) have a private pension or pension from their employer, while 14% have invested in crypto – rising to 39% of those aged 18 to 24.

Jonny Black continued: “It is a positive sign that many are willing to invest their money if they had a better understanding of the process and wider effects. However, often perceived barriers – like needing to have a lot of money or it being too high risk – are still preventing people from investing in a brighter future.

“As an industry, we have a duty to change this by providing people with the knowledge and options that are available to them to improve their financial health. And for many, that means creating outcomes that are more than just financial. Because, done properly, investment creates opportunity – the opportunity to change things for the better.”

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