Decoding Global Investment Attitudes: 2012

Decoding Global Investment Attitudes: 2012


In this 2012 report, Nielsen takes an in-depth look at the profile of the investor consumer. What is the optimal age for investing, and how does this differ by geographic region? How do investment decisions change with maturity? Are women more risk averse than men and how much risk is too much? What information sources are most reliable and which channels are emerging as credible transaction centers?

As global economies continue to focus on ways to accelerate economic growth, consumers too are looking for ways to bolster their budgets. Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence Survey shows that over the past year, consumers around the world have increased their saving strategies. Half of online respondents worldwide say they are putting spare cash into savings—an increase of 11 percent since May 2011 and nearly one-fourth (23%) indicate they are investing in stocks and mutual funds—a year-over-year rise of 35 percent.

Investment decisions and matters of personal wealth vary by gender, age and geographic region:

  • Globally, men are 36% more active than women with investments
  • Women are 25% more likely than men to rely on friends and family for advice on personal finance matters
  • Investors rely more on themselves when making investment decisions than on any other information source
  • Investors in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are the youngest; North Americans are oldest
  • Online banking rivals physical branch banking for investment services in most regions

When it comes to investing, stocks are favored over other investment options, such as mutual funds, precious metals, bonds, structured investment products, foreign currency or derivatives in all regions except Latin America, where mutual funds are preferred. In Latin America, the results are likely due to product availability rather than product knowledge.

The common belief is that the older you are, the more informed and rational you become—especially when it comes to financial volatility and investment decisions. However, Nielsen’s survey findings reveal differences in the demographic profile of investors in different regions, where a noteworthy share of investor consumers are found among older consumers in North America, Europe and Latin America.

Cash is king when it comes to how consumers around the world prefer to pay for general shopping, dining, traveling or entertainment expenses, but more than half of global respondents indicate they use credit cards and 43 percent use debit cards as a common payment method. Global usage of electronic wallets and checks are lowest at 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

New findings from a Nielsen online survey of respondents from 56 countries around the world provide insights to better understand the consumer mindset on investment strategies and the emerging opportunities across both the developed and developing economic landscapes. The study is based on online consumers who have indicated they currently use investment services, which include stocks, mutual funds, bonds, certificate of deposit, local and overseas stocks, derivative tools and foreign currency for investment purposes.


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Decoding Global Investment Attitudes: 2012

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