Investor confidence is ‘the lowest we have seen’, warns Hargreaves Lansdown chief
The chief of retail investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown warned that investor confidence was at an all time low today as he encouraged Brits to shrug off the “short term volatility” that has rocked equity markets this year.
Chris Hill, chief of Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown which has over 1.7m customers, said investor confidence had plunged this year with markets in turmoil amid soaring inflation and the fallout of war in Ukraine.
“Investor confidence is really, really low – probably the lowest we have seen,” he told Business Live in an interview.
“We are very aware of that, but as a consequence we are aware of engaging with clients on the benefits of saving and investing over a long period of time.
“If you build up your financial resilience you can cope with these short-term shocks. If you are investing for the long term you shouldn’t be so concerned about the short-term volatility.”
Hill’s warnings come after the firm reported earlier this month that market shocks had sent its total assets under administration tumbling nine per cent to £123.8bn in the year to June. Profits before tax also fell 26 per cent to £269.2m amid the market turmoil.
Hargreaves reported a total of £5.5bn of new business in the year to June however, after saying last year that its customer base was broadening to a younger generation of investors.
The average age of new clients added to the platform was 36 years old, the firm said in its annual report, after saying last year that the average age of its customers had now dropped to 46, with nearly half of those joining in 2021 between the ages of 30 and 54.
Hill said the pandemic had spurred a change in mindset from younger investors.
“We saw a surge in clients because people had time to think about the importance of saving during the pandemic,” he said.