Scalable Capital’s survey finds ETFs and savings plans popular with online broker users

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Global research


The majority of the investors in the Scalable Broker invest in ETFs and use regular savings plans and the largest group among them is "Generation Y", says the firm.

This is the result of an analysis of the in-house data of Scalable Capital which sheds light on how they invest their money and what characterises the typical investor.


"The majority of our customers invest by the book and rely on diversification and long-term asset accumulation with ETFs," says Erik Podzuweit, co-founder and CEO of Scalable Capital, describing one of the key findings.


"The top nine most popular names are all globally diversified ETFs; the first stock only places 10th with Apple. The investment behaviour of young investors is particularly striking. Our data shows that they have even more ETFs in their portfolios than the older age groups, thus investing even more 'sensibly'. Generation Z is not a generation of 'gamblers', but of responsible and forward-looking savers."


The most important results of the analysis:


"Generation Y" is most keen to invest - and more and more women are investing


The largest group of investors (32 per cent) is between 27 and 34 years old and can be classified as "Generation Y".


Slightly less strongly represented are investors of "Generation X", who are between 35 and 48 years old (around 27 per cent). This is followed by the "Generation Z" age group, 18- to 26-year-old investors (23 per cent). 


The percentage of women among investors has grown strongly in the last two years. When the broker was launched in the summer of 2020, only 7 per cent of investors were female - now women account for almost a quarter (24 per cent).


ETFs are the clear favourite: Two out of three investors invest in ETFs; young investors invest the most responsibly


ETFs are by far the most popular asset class at the Scalable Broker: Two thirds of clients (66 per cent) invest in exchange-traded funds that track stock market indices such as the MSCI World.

The younger the investor, the more popular this form of investment. While almost three quarters of the 18 to 26 age group invest in ETFs, the share of the over 65s is only 60 per cent.


In addition, women (75 per cent) invest more frequently in ETFs than men (63 per cent).

Stocks only come second among the most popular investments in the Scalable Broker in all age groups (31 per cent of invested assets).


In contrast to the distribution of ETFs, older investors in particular invest in stocks. 36 per cent of the over-65s invest in individual stocks, while not even a quarter of the 18- to 26-year-olds do so (23 per cent).


A closer look at the types of ETF investments shows that women invest 30 per cent more assets in sustainable investments than men.


Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of the money invested in ETFs goes into diversified indices, 18 per cent into sustainable investments and 7 per cent into thematic ETFs. These are followed by factor ETFs (5 per cent), sector ETFs (4 per cent), bond ETFs (2 per cent) and commodities (0.3 per cent).


Every second client saves regularly with savings plans, the firm writes.


Their commission-free savings plan offer with over 2,000 ETFs and stocks is actively used, the firm says.


Every second customer saves regularly - among female investors it is even higher at almost 60 per cent.


On average, investors have at least three savings plans and save around 470 euros per month.


In the case of savings plans, ETFs are even more clearly ahead of stocks and account for 91 per cent of the savings volume.




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Beverly Chandler
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