New data finds that one-third of investors invested more despite the cost of living

by | Dec 4, 2023

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What have been 2023’s leading investment trends? A comfortable pension for retirement, ESG credentials and financial independence – new survey data from CMC Invest reveals all below:

Censuswide research, commissioned by CMC Invest, uncovers how people invested in 2023. Notable discoveries include two-thirds of investors continuing to invest as usual despite the rising cost of living, three-quarters of the younger generations employing ESG investing, and Stocks & Shares ISAs being the favoured vehicle among investors. 

With 2023 approaching its end, UK Investment platform, CMC Invest, is today releasing new data – based on surveying 2,002 investors in the UK (aged 18+) with £10,000+ investable assets, who have been investing for at least two years – showing investing behaviours throughout 2023. 


This new data has uncovered some interesting findings. These include:

  • Two-thirds (67%) of investors continued to invest as normal this year, despite the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Gen Z and Millennials have been investing more this year, despite nationwide economic pressures, with 58% and 47%, respectively, noting they have done so.
  • ESG credentials still impact investment decisions, with half (53%) of investors saying they do consider ESG credentials before investing.
  • Over half of all investors (58%) noted wanting a comfortable pension to retire to as a reason to invest. 
  • However, around one-fifth of Gen Z (22%) and 18% of Millennials choose financial independence as their top financial priority, compared to only 10% and 14%, respectively, prioritising retirement.
  • Tax-efficient wrappers prove to be the most popular investment vehicles, with over half (52%) investing in a Stocks & Shares ISA, and 49% investing in a Cash ISA.

David Dyke, Head of CMC Invest, comments, “It’s been quite the year for investment markets. While investor goals are personal, it’s always interesting to take a step back and analyse how the industry has responded to challenges and opportunities.

While some in the industry have doubted whether ESG investing will persist, our data shows that younger generations are keen on it and proves the need for providers to offer genuine and transparent data on organisations so investors can make informed decisions – no matter what that may be. 


Perhaps most surprising was the resilience of investors despite the rising cost of living. This perhaps shows that people are able to focus on the long term despite a year of rising interest rates and inflation. Taking that longer-term view can help investors ride out the wave of market stress. 

When it comes to pensions, despite the benefits of prioritising saving for retirement from an early age, the data shows younger investors are not necessarily taking this path. Whereas it comes as little surprise that people nearing, or at the age of, retirement are still looking to top up the total amount in their pension pot. 

At CMC Invest we are here to support our customers throughout their entire investment journey. To see this data reaffirms our belief of how important it is for us to remain with investors for the long term.”


Key Findings:

One-third of investors invested more despite the cost of living

The cost-of-living crisis, a topic that has dominated the news and people’s lives throughout 2023, hasn’t impacted the vast majority of investors, with over two-thirds (67%) of investors surveyed continuing to invest as normal – or even more than usual. 


Over one-third of investors surveyed (37%) continued to invest the same amount as they did before the cost of living crisis, while just under one-third (30%) invested more. Gen Z and Millennials were the generations most likely to invest more, despite nationwide economic pressures, with 58% and 47%, respectively, noting they had invested more.

ESG is a consideration for most investors in the younger generations, while older generations admitted to overlooking it

Despite the ESG attitudes tracker showing that ESG investing has declined among UK investors, citing growing fears of greenwashing, the research shows that younger investors are leading the way with ESG.  79% of Gen Z investors surveyed consider or look at the ESG credentials of an organisation before investing, while 71% of Millennials say they make the same consideration. 


Respondents over 43 years old admitted to overlooking the need to check ESG credentials, with 59% of Generation X, 71% of Baby Boomers, and 79% of The Silent Generation responding “no” to the question of whether they considered or looked at ESG credentials before investing in an organisation. 

Retirement is a top priority for investors 

The research shows that over a third (38%) of Gen X, almost three in ten (28%) of those aged 59-77, and one-quarter (25%) of retired investors, still consider saving for retirement as their leading financial priority. While over half of all investors surveyed (58%) noted having a comfortable pension to retire to as a reason to invest. 


Around one-fifth of Gen Z (22%) and 18% of Millennials investors surveyed chose financial independence as their leading reason for investing, compared to only 10% and 14% prioritising retirement, respectively. More Gen Z respondents prioritise keeping on top of weekly costs (12%), potentially indicating that pre-planning isn’t possible in the current state of the market, and illustrating the long-term impacts of challenging economic conditions. 

Stocks & Shares ISAs are the most popular investment vehicle

Tax-efficient wrappers prove to be the most popular investments, with over half (52%) investing in a Stocks & Shares ISA, and 49% investing in a Cash ISA. Just under one quarter (24%) of investors surveyed have cryptocurrencies, which means they are now more popular than ETFs, mutual funds, and investment trusts (22%) as well as property (23%). Gen Z (36%) and Millennials respondents (33%) drive this trend, with over a third of both generations holding crypto investments. 

At the time of answering, the 2,002 investors in the UK (aged 18+) surveyed by Censuswide had been investing for over two years and had £10,000 or more of investable assets. 

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