Millennials face barriers to investing, says OSC study

By The IJ Staff | July 12 2018 01:30PM

Photo: Freepik

The Ontario Securities Commission today released a new study on the significant obstacles to investing encountered by Ontario millennials and how investment industry stakeholders can develop and refine products, programs and services to meet millennials' needs.

"Our research findings indicate many Ontario millennials are feeling overwhelmed by investing and don't know where to start," said Tyler Fleming, Director of the Investor Office at the OSC. "We hope this work will facilitate the development of products and services that are responsive to younger investors' needs and help foster innovation and efficiency in the capital markets."

Overwhelmed by too many options

The OSC says its research shows that “many millennials are at a life stage where it is difficult to picture one's future self, often compare themselves to their peers, are overwhelmed with too many options to know where to begin, and lack opportunity to practice their investing skills.”

The study identifies six key principles that stakeholders may consider to engage millennials, including: helping them “find their own unique motivation for investing; providing personalized, achievable steps that make it easier to get started; demonstrating a clearer vision of how current decisions impact future consequences; offering relevant social comparisons that show what others are doing; creating opportunities for low risk experimentation that builds confidence; and, putting millennials' unique individual needs first to inspire trust.”

Prepared by Upside Consulting Group in collaboration with OSC staff, the study draws from nearly 30 hours of in-depth interviews with Ontario millennials (aged 18-36), as well as a review of behavioural sciences literature and existing investing channels available to millennials.

To learn more, consult the study on the OSC’s website.

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