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New survey: Belfast people take less financial risks

By John Mulgrew

Published 25/02/2016

Willis Owen’s Jason Chapman
Willis Owen’s Jason Chapman

An increasing number of people in Belfast are becoming more conservative with their money and are less likely to take financial risks, a new survey has found.

Around 17% of people quizzed in the city said they would be "willing to take either reasonable or substantial financial risk in order to secure a decent return", according to research from investment service provider Willis Owen.

That is down from 25% of people questioned about their finances last year.

But it is still higher than the UK average, with 15% of people willing to take a financial risk when it comes to investment.

Liz Rees, head of research at Willis Owen, said while "risk appetite had been growing among UK savers and investors, the last 12 months has reversed the trend".

"Market volatility, oil price fluctuations, the prospect of an EU referendum and concerns about the pace of growth in major economies like the US and China have all created uncertainty," she added.

"And we know that uncertainty tends to limit risk-taking behaviour. This fall in risk appetite might also be evidence of investors getting their fingers burnt in 2015, when there were weaker returns than in previous years."

One in four people in London is happy to take reasonable or substantial risk, while just 11% of people in Glasgow, Leeds and Norwich feel comfortable on the same measure.

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2012 people across the UK, including 102 in Belfast.

Jason Chapman, managing director at Willis Owen, said: "A lot more needs to be done to communicate the potential value of sensible risk-taking when it comes to our finances.

"For too many of us, adopting financial risk remains taboo. Yet the fact is that with interest rates set to remain low, relying on cash savings won't be enough for many.

"Even adopting sensible levels of risk, based on a thorough understanding of your circumstances and financial goals, can mean that investments may go down as well as up."

Willis Owen was founded 20 years ago, and now has £1bn of funds under management.

Belfast Telegraph

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