Asset-rich over 65s with significant spending power are spending more time on line, becoming increasingly tech-savvy and have the time to research and invest online rather than give their cash to a wealth manager to throw into a fund.
Today, 80 per cent of 65-74 year-olds are now online regularly – up from 52 per cent in 2011, while the percentage of 75 year olds who regularly use the internet has more than doubled to 44 per cent during the period, according to recently released Office of National statistics.
As such, companies focusing on shopping, socialising and investing are potentially ignoring huge markets if they don’t take the needs of seniors into account, according to Parul Scampion, co-founder of new online investment platform, propio.com
“Many brands have been desperate to attract millennials and have overlooked the older generation in recent years. But now, these so-called ‘digital dinosaurs’ are becoming an increasingly important market for companies of all types. With more data available than ever, this market presents a huge opportunity for alternative investment firms such as Propio,” says Propio’s Scampion.
“Investing online has become easier for everyone in recent years and tracking our investments on our tablets or mobile devices is now commonplace, so now is the time for tech-savvy older people to discover the myriad alternative investment opportunities available online.”
UK seniors have somewhere in the region of £1.5 trillion spare to invest and with their new-found tech savviness can easily compare and contrast investment offers online to find the deal that suits them best. The fact that seniors are likely to be scrutinising the investment landscape far more than in previous years could spell bad news for funds.
The ability to do invest online using one of the many crowdfunding or peer 2 peer platforms such as Property Partner, House Crowd, UOWN or Property Moose is an attractive option for the newly tech-savvy older generation.
One of these possibilities is to directly invest in property through Propio, a new online property investment platform offering returns of up to 20 percent. Unlike other crowdfunding or P2P investment platforms, investing in residential property through Propio is backed up by the value of the property and land, which provides more security than other types of investment, which are often not backed by any physical assets.
The narrowing of this digital divide between the generations could see more older savers taking decisions themselves, put off by poor returns from savings accounts and a lack of transparency over fees from advisors or fund managers.
This means that seniors that have built up hefty investment portfolios – likely managed by third parties – over the years can now take more control over how their cash works for them by adding property to their bucket of investments. Diversification is a key facet of any successful investment portfolio and including a tranche of property alongside other assets – such as equities and bonds – is the common sense way to hedge against market volatility and manage risk.
“Investing in property makes sense for retirees wanting to invest some of their savings and perhaps take a bit more of a risk to achieve attractive returns of up to 20 per cent, perhaps to make a smaller profit over the short-term to help their children out financially or to merely achieve better returns than those available through products such as Premium Bonds, for example,” says Scampion.
“Ultimately, our ambition is to demystify the development process so that retail investors of all backgrounds – and ages – are able to access the sorts of returns normally reserved for housebuilders.”