A research conducted by a consulting firm commissioned by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), showed that younger consumers in the country were involved in high risk investments such as cryptocurrencies.
Young Consumers Invest in Crypto for the Thrills
According to a press release published by the UK regulator on Tuesday (Mar. 23, 2021), the investors who featured younger, diverse groups invested in crypto and foreign exchange (forex) more for the thrill and status. The FCA’s findings also revealed that consumers investing in high risk products did so because of the challenge and competition, rather than having functional reasons for investng.
The research was conducted by BritainThinks, an international consulting firm, between August 18, 2020 and January 20, 2021. About 517 “self-directed investors” – individuals who made independent investment decisions without seeking professonal financial advice – participated in the survey.
With the research, it was discovered that the new group of investors were different from the conventuinal investors. They were most likely female from a Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background under the age of 40. These group of self-investors get access to investment news and tips through YouTube and other social media.
Also, the research revealed that these investors, while they exhibit confidence and claim knowledge, lacked awareness or believe in the risk associated with investing. Furthermore, four out of 10 invested money without thinking that “losing some money” was an investment risk.
In addition, 78 percent of such investors relied on their instincts to know when to buy and sell an asset. Another 78 percent also agreed that “there are certain investment types, sectors or companies I consider a ‘safe bet’”
While these young and diverse self-investors seemed to carry out investments with instinct rather than critical thinking, they did not have the resilience to withstand financial loss. Based on the findings, 59 percent of those surveyed with under three years’ experience said that a significant investment loss would greatly affect their lifestyle.
FCA With a Mission to Protect Investors
Meanwhile, the FCA noted that the research gave insight to how such category of consumers carried out investment and how the regulatory body could advise these investors on the risks of engaging in such high-risk investments.
Commenting on the findings was Sheldon Mills, FCA’s executive director of consumer and and competition, who said:
“We are worried that some investors are being tempted – often through online adverts or high-pressure sales tactics – into buying higher-risk products that are very unlikely to be suitable for them…Investors need to be mindful of their overall risk appetite, diversifying their investments and only investing money they can afford to lose in high risk products.”
Alongside today’s press release, the FCA also launched a digital disruption campaign to safeguard consumers against investment harm. The targeted campaign comes with questions which investors need to ask before making any investment decisions.
The UK regulator in the past has warned citizens on different about the risk associated with cryptocurrecy investment. Earlier in January, the FCA officially banned retail crypto derivatives trading to protect consumers.