There’s no doubt Covid-19 has had a big impact on our sense of financial well-being, but it doesn’t appear to be all doom and gloom.
Kiwis are feeling less wealthy and less confident about their own wealth, the financial markets and the economy than they were before the pandemic hit.
But the people who are feeling the effects of Covid-19 the most on their own personal finances are those who earn over 130K or have investments. In contrast, ‘employees, with one source of income - young people and renters especially, don’t feel noticeably less wealthy or confident than they did in February’ says Melissa Vasta, General Manager Retail and Product at Kiwi Wealth.
These insights come from Kiwi Wealth’s State of the Investor Nation Survey, conducted in February each year, with an additional survey in June to include the effects of Covid-19.
These two surveys give a unique snapshot of the wealth position and wealth aspirations of Kiwi’s, before and after the pandemic in New Zealand.
How wealthy do Kiwis feel?
There’s always been plenty of data available on certain aspects of economic activity like business confidence, employment expectations, cost of living or income. But less available, when it comes to getting 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.
Kiwi Wealth’s State of the Investor Nation 2020 ‘gives a 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’.
Gap between the haves and have-nots
While the deep rooted, uneven distribution of wealth is still there, the report tells us the gap growth stalled during lockdown. Covid-19 has hit perceptions of wealth and confidence across the board but the main impact has been with high income earners, investors and homeowners, who feel significantly less wealthy now (31%) compared to three months ago (13%). Young people, renters, Māori and Pasifika already had low levels of wealth and confidence prior to Covid-19.
The report found that more Kiwis had investments or savings (84%) than in February (80%). This was particularly true for mid-income earners and homeowners. Most likely that’s because people were spending less during lockdown so have more discretionary money to put towards savings or investments.
Health and wealth-being
One can infer that confidence has held up for those holding onto their job and having a little more money in the pocket because of reduced spending during lockdown.
For more insights read the full Kiwi Wealth State of the Investor Nation reports: