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ASX Australian Investor Study

The changing face of the Australian retail investor

This Deloitte Access Economics study sheds light on investor behaviour in this complex and changing investment landscape, and provides some ‘food for thought’ for the investment industry that caters to them.

Investing is a critical activity in any modern economy. It’s how businesses prepare for serving customers in the future, how a nation grows over time, and how individuals and families can participate in financial successes of businesses and earn an income.

Over the past decade the Australian financial sector has been subject to significant policy change which has seen a tightening of regulation. This change continues to unfold and will impact the behaviours of financial intermediaries and investors.

The 2017 edition of the study has been prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, a successor to decades of effort by ASX, which has biennially published a profile of Australian share ownership since 1986. The study is based on an online survey of 4,000 individuals (a representative sample of the Australian adult population) and the focus is on Australian adults that invest outside of their institutional superannuation fund arrangements.

The study finds that Australia has ranked well against global measures of financial literacy, however there is scope to improve. Australian investors’ portfolios are not very diversified, and their awareness of financial products declines quickly outside of shares.

At the same time, the investment industry may not be engaging with investors as well as they could be. Some of the survey findings may challenge existing industry perceptions of investors. There is an opportunity for the industry to change and become more responsive to its customers, which can help deliver improved financial outcomes for Australians and the economy.

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