Most Investors Are Not More Risk-Averse

The majority of investors said the amount of risk they have taken with their investments has stayed the same over the past two years, according to a Financial Times/Harris Interactive poll of investors in the U.S. and the five largest European countries.

The survey also found that 61% of U.S. and 69% of British adults with savings/investments would keep the amount of professional advice they seek the same if making an investment decision now, while 28% in the U.S. and 21% in Great Britain would seek more advice.

When broken down by country, 61% of respondents in the U.S. and 71% in Great Britain said the amount of risk they take has stayed the same. Seventy percent of respondents in France, 64% of respondents in Germany, 59% of those in Italy, and 58% of investors in Spain all said the same.

Twenty-nine percent of U.S. respondents and 20% of those in Great Britain said they are taking less risk, while 10% in the U.S. and 8% in Great Britain say they are willing to take more risk in their investing.

A majority in all countries also say they have not changed their investment choices in the last two years: 81% in Great Britain, 78% in Germany, 67% in Spain, 65% in France, 62% in the U.S., and 56% in Italy. However, 46% of U.S. respondents and 39% of those in Great Britain said they are less likely to invest in equities, as did a range of 41% to 54% of respondents from other countries.

Less than a quarter of respondents from all countries said they think the government adequately protects investors.

The poll was conducted between August 26 and September 2 online by Harris Interactive among a total of 4,419 adults aged 16 to 64 and who have investments within France (824), Germany (701), Great Britain (821), Spain (639) and the U.S. (777), and adults aged 18 to 64 who have investments in Italy (657).