Major U.S. financial group Charles Schwab has conducted a survey and found that young British investors are twice as likely to buy cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, as they are to buy stocks. The company says it is watching the crypto space closely but needs “additional clarity from regulators” before considering providing any crypto services directly to customers.
Charles Schwab’s Crypto Survey
U.S. financial group Charles Schwab, which has about 31.9 million active brokerage accounts, revealed the results of its investment survey last week, Reuters reported.
The survey, conducted between February and March, received 1,000 responses. Respondents were U.K. investors aged over 18 who hold at least one type of investment out of a list of assets, including equities, bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and contracts for difference (CFDs).
Charles Schwab found that 51% of millennial and Gen Z investors aged between 18 and 37 traded or owned cryptocurrencies, up from 44% in May last year. In addition, 70% view cryptocurrencies as a good investment. Meanwhile, only 8% of investors aged over 55 traded cryptocurrencies. In comparison, 25% of young investors bought or held equities.
The Charles Schwab press release presenting the survey details:
As more young people purchase speculative products, there is a fear that these investors are not diversifying their portfolios enough to mitigate risks in case cryptocurrency markets decline.
The survey’s findings further showed that seven out of 10 young investors were uncertain as to how to protect against losses in the current financial environment.
Charles Schwab UK managing director Richard Flynn told Business Insider that the survey gives an insight into the amount of risk that young investors are taking on. He said: “Cryptocurrencies seem to be the flavour of the month. It is important to remember that these are speculative assets that don’t fit within traditional asset-allocation models.”
Flynn then cautioned: “While the prospective returns are tempting, investors should be aware that it is just as susceptible to supply and demand, but will not necessarily have the inherent value behind it.”
In its business update last week, Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger talked about cryptocurrency. He said his firm is looking “closely” and “cautiously” at the crypto market and is waiting for regulators to give more guidance around the digital currencies before considering offering crypto capabilities on its platform.
Emphasized that “additional clarity from regulators would be important before we would consider offering a retail-type trading experience on crypto,” he opined:
We’re watching closely. We recognize well what’s going on. We would like to see more regulatory clarity. If and when that comes, you should expect Schwab to be a player in that space in the same way it has been a player in other investment opportunities across the spectrum.