Schroder Global Investor Study

Schroder Global Investor Study

Today’s post takes a look at the Schroder Global Investor Study – a survey of investor perspectives, understanding and expectations.

Schroder Global Investor Study

The Schroder survey questioned more than 22,00 people from 30 countries around the world.

  • They are all active investors who have made changes to their investments over the previous 10 years and will be investing $10K or more in the next year.

The report actually dates back to November, but I only came across it in the New Year.

  • We’ve looked at investor attitudes before – back in July 2017, when we covered the Blackrock Pulse survey.
  • But that one only covered UK investors.

One of the interesting aspects of the Schroder study is that is provides data at a global, regional and national level.

  • So on many of the topics, we’ll be able to compare the Global response with that for Europe, and then for the UK.

Some of the questions are also split by age group, so we’ll be able to compare baby boomers agains millennials.


More knowledge

Globally, 88% of investors would like to improve their investment knowledge.

UK more knowledge

In the UK this falls to 83%.

What people want to know about

The topics that people wanted to learn about were:

  1. Investments that have a potential positive impact (ESG investing)
  2. Tax-efficient investments
  3. Asset classes
  4. Costs and fees
  5. Products (eg. mutual funds)
  6. Long-term investing and risk
  7. Compounding
  8. How saving and investing are different

No need to improve understanding

Comparing the generations, older people are much more likely to think that they don’t need to improve their understanding of investments.

Top 5 knowledge areas

Compared to peers in the US and Europe, UK investors are:

  1. Confident in their understanding of investments
  2. Familiar with the main ways of investing, and with tax-efficient investments
  3. Not very interested in investments with a positive potential impact
Disposable income

Disposable income

The global priorities for disposable income were:

  1. Investments
  2. Savings
  3. Spending
  4. Repaying debt

It’s not surprising to find repaying debt at the foot of that list, since interest rates are so low.

Priorities by generation

Comparing the generations:

  1. Boomers are more likely to use spare money invest in stocks etc.
  2. Millenials are more likely to buy property.
  3. Boomers are more likely to spend money on luxuries.
  4. Millenials are more likely to invest in their own business.
  5. Millenials are more likely to give to charity.
  6. And Millenials are more likely to keep their spare money at home as cash.

UK disposable income

UK investors were (compared to the global averages):

  1. Less likely to invest or save
  2. More likely to spend
Uncertainty and risk

Uncertainty and risk

Respondents say that politics and world events don’t affect their investments.

  • But at the same time they regard them as opportunities.
  • And they take on less risk, and hold more cash.

UK uncertainty and risk

UK responses on this issue were similar to global averages.

Return expectations

Return expectations

Globally, 44% of investors expect returns above 10% pa over the next five years.

  • The average return expectation is 10.2% pa.

This compares with institutional expectations (from another Schroder survey) of 5% pa.

  • Schroders themselves predict returns of 4.2% for stocks.
See also:  Company Pension Deficits

Regional return expectations

Comparing regions, the Americas have the highest return expectations, and Europe the lowest.

UK return expectations

UK return expectations were significantly lower than the global averages.

Millenials more confident

Comparing the generations, 54% of millenials expect returns above 10% pa, compared with 33% of boomers.


Millenials more emotional

Millenials are also more emotional about their investments, with 74% saying emotion is a major influence in their decisions (compared with 63% of boomers).

  • Across nations, the survey found a correlation between the role of emotion in financial decisions, and a higher expected rate of return.
Use of tech

Use of tech

The use of technology in investing is widespread.

  • The Americas rank highest, with Asia next.
  • Unsurprisingly, millenials are bigger users of tech than boomers, particularly when it comes to managing investments.

Use of tech

Here again, UK results are similar to the global averages, but if anything the difference between the generations is even more pronounced.


I hope you found the survey at least half as interesting as I did.

  1. The great thirst for investment education took me by surprise – probably because so few people seem to act on this perceived need.
  2. I’m also struck by the contradiction between what people say (for example, about world events and politics) and what they do with their money.
  3. The third big finding is that people have unrealistic expectations – the average forecast return is 10.2% pa (8.7% in the UK), compared with historic returns of 7.2%.
    • The reports authors link these expectation to the significant role that emotion plays in people’s decision-making.
    • But I think it’s because everybody thinks that they are better than average at everything.

Until next time.

Mike is the owner of 7 Circles, and a private investor living in London. He has been managing his own money for 39 years, with some success.

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Schroder Global Investor Study

by Mike Rawson time to read: 2 min