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Landmark report a wealth of information on Kiwis' financial outlook

May 6, 2019


Written by News

Kiwis feel mostly positive about their wealth prospects but there’s a widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

Kiwi Wealth’s inaugural State of the Investor Nation report, a landmark investigation into Kiwis’ perceptions of wealth and wealth creation, shows for the first time how we feel about our financial well-being.

More than 2100 Kiwis were questioned about their wealth aspirations and confidence in financial and property markets, leading to a comprehensive analysis of New Zealanders’ investment knowledge and behaviour. The inaugural report establishes a set of benchmarks to measure how that knowledge and behaviour changes over time.

State of the Investor Nation 2019 – key insights:

• 1 in 4 Kiwis feel less wealthy today than they did a year ago
• A third of Kiwis are struggling to make ends meet or are only just managing to get by
• Almost two-thirds of Kiwis are confident about the New Zealand economy over the next five years
• The majority of New Zealanders have some form of investment and/or savings, with KiwiSaver, savings accounts and term deposits most popular
• Residential property is the asset class most Kiwis believe will generate the most wealth in retirement

On the face of it, New Zealand appears a relatively well-off country following a decade of prosperity characterised by strong economic growth, record share market performance and low unemployment.

But the State of the Investor Nation report adds new perspective, showing that while Kiwis are mostly upbeat about the economy, there are clear divisions developing between those who are doing well and those who are struggling.

A quarter of Kiwis feel less wealthy today than they did a year ago, while a third are struggling financially or just getting by from pay cheque to pay cheque.

  “Owning property is still number one when it comes to Kiwis’ positive perceptions of wealth – especially among older people,” says Joe Bishop, Kiwi Wealth General Manager Customer, Product and Innovation.

 “We’re a risk-averse nation.  40% of New Zealanders sit on the risk averse side and, outside of property assets, 80% are building their wealth through traditional investment vehicles such as KiwiSaver, savings accounts and term deposits.

 “Confidence in New Zealand’s economy, financial and property markets is quite strong, but wealth isn’t evenly distributed. In fact, the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening fast, and our young people, renters and those living in the regions are missing out most. Despite 10 years of a so-called ‘rockstar economy’, these are the Kiwis who didn’t get seats at the concert.”

Kiwi Wealth devised the report to provide a clearer, comprehensive understanding of Kiwis’ perceptions of their own wealth and confidence.

 “There’s always been plenty of data available on certain aspects of economic activity, be it business confidence, employment expectations, cost of living or income. But what we’ve never been able to get a read on is how Kiwis feel about all these things together, the impact on their everyday lives and what they expect in the future.

 “The State of the Investor Nation report gives a much more complete understanding of what’s going on in our economy at an individual level; those who are doing well, those who are doing okay and those who are struggling. More importantly, it gives the clearest understanding yet of exactly what the problems are.

Kiwi Wealth’s full State of the Investor Nation 2019 report is available at https://www.kiwiwealth.co.nz/report/state-of-the-investor-nation.

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