Generation Y invest at younger age, see equities as the best bet

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 June, 2010, 12:00am


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'Generation Y' on average start investing earlier than older generations but an overwhelming majority are sceptical towards their ability to achieve their financial goals, according to a survey by HSBC Holdings.

The survey, which interviewed 800 Generation Ys aged between 15 and 30, found that on average people in this age group start investing at 21, earlier than Generation X and baby boomers.

Hong Kong securities are the most popular first-time investment products for graduates, with 40 per cent believing that investing in securities is the best way to save money.

HSBC head of personal financial services in Hong Kong Francesca McDonagh said there is 'certainly a recognition among our customer base of Gen Ys that they have a higher propensity to invest in securities'.

She said Gen Y accounts for 17 per cent of HSBC's customer base and 10 per cent of those with investments in securities.

Buying property was at the top of Gen Y's financial goals, followed by travel, reflecting the importance of work-life balance for this segment.

McDonagh said the findings are not surprising, given that property is a perpetual hot topic in Hong Kong, and many Gen Ys are probably susceptible to influence by peers and family who are investing in property.

However, the survey found that 93per cent of the respondents have doubts that they will be able to achieve their financial goals, and more than 70 per cent are dissatisfied with their salaries and believe they do not have enough to start investing.

The average wage of the group is HK$9,000 per month, although variation is wide as the group ranges from students to working adults.

According to HSBC, Gen Y, despite popular perceptions, have 'clear financial goals and a strong sense of responsibility', but need advice on how to manage their wealth.

McDonagh said in a time of market volatility, her advice for Gen Y would be to 'increase their knowledge ... before rushing into investments'.