Survey says…60% of New Zealanders confident in the country’s financial markets

Most Kiwis remain confident in NZ’s financial markets says a new survey just released. The survey shows confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets remains stable, with 60% of New Zealanders feeling confident in the state of the country’s financial markets.

The result is part of a survey into New Zealanders’ attitudes to financial markets, released by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today.

The survey shows that market confidence has stabilized, from 59% to 60% between 2014 and 2015. Overall confidence is up six percentage points since 2013.

Rob Everett, the FMA’s chief executive, believes two factors have influenced stable investor confidence in the past year.

“The increase in confidence we saw last year has probably slowed due to the increased volatility in financial markets across the globe.  Another factor is that New Zealand’s financial markets have recently gone through a period of significant regulatory change and improvement with the introduction of the Financial Markets Conduct Act in 2014, which we are now bedding in,” Mr Everett said.

Confidence in the markets grew most among people on lower incomes, with 58% of people who earn between $20,001 and $50,000 p.a. having increased confidence, up nine percentage points since 2014. However, it is middle to high income earners who are most likely to have the highest confidence in the markets. Confidence continued to trend upward among those people with investments, up to 65% from 61% last year.

Mr. Everett said it’s not surprising to see confidence levels increasing according to peoples’ personal income, “however it’s very encouraging to see confidence growing among investors as a whole and among lower and middle income earners in particular.”

“The upward trends we’re seeing among investors compared to non-investors, reflects the fact that more New Zealanders have investments such as shares and bonds through their KiwiSaver funds, so it’s increasingly important that people are confident in properly functioning financial markets. Growing balances in KiwiSaver funds and strong performance on the NZX will inevitably have pushed confidence levels up over the last couple of years.”

The number of people surveyed who were not confident in the markets has decreased from 35% to 26% since 2013.

People aged 50-64 years old were among the most confident, 68%, along with 67% of people living in Auckland who said they were confident.

In an interesting statistic, the number of New Zealanders who had heard of the FMA increased slightly this year from 35% to 39% which reflects the fact that the FMA is still a new regulator to most investors.

The full survey can be seen here.

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