What characterises stock market risk-takers?

YouGov
August 25, 2020, 6:20 PM UTC

Only a small fraction of Brits are open to taking risks in the stock market – who are they?

The coronavirus crisis has pushed UK interest rates to their lowest level on record, meaning most savings accounts are actually losing value over time. While investing can be a way to beat inflation, most Brits are sceptical about taking risks with stocks.

Only one in eight people tend to (9%) or definitely (3%) agree with the statement “I like to take risks in the stock market”. In contrast, about half of the public “definitely” disagree (47%).

People who like taking risks with stocks are overwhelmingly male (67%). They tend to be younger, with 42% being aged 18 to 34, compared with 28% of the wider population. And they are more likely to be in social grade AB (36%), mainly including professionals, than the average person (27%).

Risk-keen stock investors are also slightly more likely to be single (30% versus 23%).

While only one in five Brits (21%) are open to taking risks with their money, this is true for most people who like to gamble with stocks (69%). Similarly, they are twice as likely (83%) as the average person (40%) to look for profitable ways to invest.

Risk-takers in the stock market describe themselves as clued-up about money, with two thirds (67%) saying they consider news about the economy and finance before making big purchases. In comparison, only 39% of the public normally do this.

They also have a more positive view of borrowing, with half (48%) saying it’s fine for young people to be in debt – a view shared by less than a quarter of all Brits (23%).

Three in five people who like taking risks with stocks (63%) are confident they could handle a personal financial crisis such as going bankrupt or losing their house. This compares to 39% among the wider population.

They are also more likely to make impulsive purchases (55%) than other Britons (41%).

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