Do Belgians invest like pedestrians or marathon runners? Bolero, CBC, KBC Brussels and KBC are launching an interactive investor test to help Belgians discover what kind of investor they would be. This online test (www.kbc.be/beleggerstest), which is open to every Belgian, offers you a clearer idea of how you deal with money, you attitude towards investment and your appetite for sustainability. By the end of this light-hearted test, Belgians will discover which of the seven investor types they match most closely.
1 Belgian in 3 invests
To gain a clearer understanding of how Belgians view investing, Bolero, CBC, KBC Brussels and KBC carried out extensive market research. This showed that no fewer than 31% of Belgians already invest in funds, bonds, shares or other financial products; 7% are considering doing so in the near future, while 62% of Belgians have no intention of starting to invest. Belgians invest primarily to create a financial buffer for difficult times (76%), to put something aside for the children or grandchildren (31%); or to buy a house or flat (16%). The last motivation is noticeably stronger in Brussels than it is in Flanders or Wallonia, probably because of the steadily rising house prices in the capital. For young people too (under-34s), investing is more about funding a house purchase or travel than it is for older investors.
Belgians who are not thinking about investing are mainly put off by their lack of knowledge (50%) or because they can’t afford it (58%). Only 60% of Belgians are aware that saving currently means a loss of purchasing power. The corresponding figure for young people is just one in two. In other words, financial education is still needed.
The majority of investors expect to receive advice Almost one in three Belgian investors manage their own investments online, while about half prefer to receive personalised advance from an expert at the bank, but then to take the investment decision themselves. Another one in three Belgian investors likes to entrust their investments entirely to the experts.
Almost one in two Flemings prefer to discuss most of their investments with an adviser, while one in two Brussels investors choose to do it themselves. 37.5% of investors in Wallonia likewise prefer to trust their own knowledge and feelings when it comes to investing. The study also shows that roughly one investor in ten combines different forms of investment: they want to manage part of their portfolio themselves, while relying for the rest on an expert or adviser.
Belgians are cautious investors
No fewer than 70% of them opt for stability and limited risk over a potentially higher return. Younger Belgian investors in particular (57.8% of them) would find it a little harder to cope with if the value of their investments were to fall sharply. Investors in Wallonia (47%) too are somewhat more risk-averse than their Flemish counterparts (35.9%). Unsurprisingly, self-investors show the greatest appetite for risk. This means that they invest significantly more in shares (66.9%) than investors who manage their portfolio together with an adviser (43%) or who hand over its management completely (28.2%).
Sustainable investment is important to one investor in two
48% of Belgian investors only want to invest in shares or bonds of companies or countries that do business sustainably. Investors who entrust their investments to an expert place particular emphasis on the sustainability aspect in their portfolio. This is somewhat less the case with self-investors, who choose among the range of available investment products based primarily on the potential return or solidity of the business.
Regine Debeuckelaere, General Manager KBC Wealth, Private Banking & Mass Affluent: ‘What the research clearly shows is that there is no such thing as the ‘typical investor”. Investing is something personal and subtly shaded, which makes it important for us as a bank-insurer to offer all those different nuances, so that every investor can find the approach that suits them best. To do that, we have developed a tool that enables clients to find out for themselves what kind of investor they would be. Because no matter which approach is best for them, KBC can always offer a suitable investment solution. You can take the test yourself (in Dutch and French) at kbc.be/beleggerstest.’
Study commissioned by the KBC group from the market research agency iVox in July 2017 among a representative panel of 1 000 Belgians aged over 18.