People & Money 2020

People & Money 2020

We believe the BlackRock People & Money report is about discovery, truth and opportunity. As the world changes, so does people’s thinking about money. That’s why we traveled the globe to talk to them about this complicated relationship. This is their story. And the more we listen, the better we can act*.

This survey* was fielded between November 2019 and January 2020, with 26,814 respondents in 18 markets. We note throughout where the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the trends or reinforced the insights into people’s relationship with money.

What we heard

85% want their investments to make a positive impact.
85% want their investments to make a positive impact.
49% don’t feel confident making investment decisions.
49% don’t feel confident making investment decisions.
55% want a tech/human balance in investment support.
55% want a tech/human balance in investment support.
78% don’t believe they’re on the right savings path.
78% don’t believe they’re on the right savings path.
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Sustainability gets the green light

Our report indicates the opportunity for sustainable investing is clear, for both investors and non-investors.
85% of investors we spoke to around the globe overwhelmingly feel it’s important their investments make a positive impact.

Sustainability gets the green light

1 in 3 investors said increased ESG allocations would encourage them to contribute more to their retirement plans.

1 in 3 investors said increased ESG allocations would encourage them to contribute more to their retirement plans.

2 in 5 non-investors said sustainable options would encourage them to invest for the first time.

2 in 5 non-investors said sustainable options would encourage them to invest for the first time.
A legacy of change
“I want to leave a legacy of change for the next generation. It is important to leave our mark to better our communities. Putting my money in stocks and companies that believe in positive change is important to me.” — Sierra T, invests without using an advisor
A legacy of change

Spread the word

To grow sustainable investing, we must grow familiarity. This would be in everyone’s interest: 77% of people who know little or nothing about "sustainable investing" said it appeals to them.

Spread the word

• Only 11% around the world say they’re familiar with the term, and this was consistent
across age groups.
• Only 68% who currently invest have heard the term.
• 19% have never heard the term.

A world of myths

Lack of knowledge leads to misconceptions. Over half of people across the world think sustainable investing translates to higher costs (56%), higher risk (49%), and sacrificing returns (49%).

A world of myths

People are also unaware of how sustainability is measured (69%). This is consistent across age groups, regions and investors vs. non-investors.

In for the investment
“I’d rather my investments followed my personal beliefs, but I’m not in the market for virtue signaling, I’m in the market for the investment.” — Mike L, invests using an advisor
In for the investment

The most important ESG issues

Environmental issues are the main concern, more specifically pollution and waste (57%) and climate change risk (55%). The COVID-19 crisis has underscored investors’ interest in environmental issues and indicates an increasing interest among investors in social issues, like human rights and equality, and governance practices.

The most important ESG issues

Sustainability: The megatrend

We found that 4 in 5 people are interested in investing in key megatrends. Climate change is most appealing (34%), followed by technological advancement (25%) or emerging wealth (11%).

Sustainability: The megatrend

Resilience amid uncertainty

Brian Deese, Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock, discusses the strength of sustainable investing so far this year and its outlook for the rest of 2020.

Learn more Learn more

Recovering together

COVID-19 relief
What is the true cost of a pandemic?
Social impact
Who will need help recovering the most?
The BlackRock Foundation
Change the story for the most vulnerable.

Removing old walls

Status quo and old financial systems are keeping new investors away. As an industry, we can work to become more in tune with society. The more obstacles we remove, the more financial futures we can build.

The last taboo

People’s relationship with money is complicated. Money is something people still feel reluctant to discuss. We must help people to feel comfortable discussing their money issues by changing the narrative to be open, trusting and inclusive. It’s how we will bring financial well-being to more people.

The last taboo
Always learning
“Investing is much more complex than spending and saving, so I feel there’s always room for improvement and to learn more.” —Phillip O, invests with an advisor
Always learning

Cash vs. investments

We must change perceptions to change the balance.
• Cash makes people feel safe (41%), secure (39%), and in control (36%)
• People view investing as risky (37%) and feel as though it’s only for the long term (21%)
• People see investing only as a way to grow wealth, and not to meet other important goals such as preserving wealth or retiring.

Cash vs. investments

Are we talking to ourselves?

How can we expect more people to trust investing if they can’t understand what we are talking about? It’s clearly not just a matter of knowing what to say, but how to say it.
61% say investing info is difficult to understand.
Confusing
61% say investing info is difficult to understand.
63% do not consider themselves investors.
Perception
63% do not consider themselves investors.
62% do not see themselves in advertisements from investing institutions.
Unrelatable
62% do not see themselves in advertisements from investing institutions.
45% do not agree that “investing is for people like me.”
Not for me
45% do not agree that “investing is for people like me.”

Technology gets a big thumbs up emoji

People really see technology as an advantage when managing money. We found that more and more, investors are becoming reliant on it. They see access, convenience, clarity and cost efficiency as key benefits.

Ease of access
56% of people globally value the ease of access that technology provides to their money at any moment.
Reliable and transparent
48% of people globally value the reliable and transparent management that technology provides.
Less costly
33% of people globally value the less costly advice that technology provides versus a financial professional.

But humans still get a big thumbs up, too

When it comes to managing money, human expertise and interaction are still important. 55% of people said they prefer a balance between technology and humans, and 33% of investors recommend that non-investors make a first investment with a trusted advisor.

But humans still get a big thumbs up, too

So, technology is a great tool for the investor and advisor. It can provide a new level of transparency and trust between advisors and their clients and help build a stronger relationship.

Advice to your future self
“To avoid fear, talk through investment ideas with experts. Use apps that send helpful alerts and notifications. —Helen Y., invests with an advisor
Advice to your future self

Thinking forward

We asked people what would have helped them feel better about past financial decisions. They mentioned more tech solutions:

Thinking forward

The changing realities of retiring

Retirement has taken on a new meaning. Before COVID-19, it meant stopping work entirely was no longer the goal. Post COVID, it may mean that stopping work entirely may no longer be possible. People’s priority for retirement is not running out of money, and investors will be hesitant to move into the next phase of life without steady incomes and new income-generating experiences, like flexible work or entrepreneurship.

Worried about the future

Even though many people have started saving, they don’t always feel confident or prepared.

Worried about the future
I have no plan
“I’m a millennial with a ton of student debt and expenses and I have absolutely no plan on retiring.” —Sarah H., non-investor
I have no plan

What we can do

We need to maintain the urgency to invest. The goal hasn’t changed: to protect people later in life. Though people know their retirement savings may not be their only income source in “retirement,” this can’t stop people from contributing now.

What we can do

Recovering together

COVID-19 relief
What is the true cost of a pandemic?
Social impact
Who will need help recovering the most?
The BlackRock Foundation
Change the story for the most vulnerable.

Recovering together

COVID-19 relief
What is the true cost of a pandemic?
Social impact
Who will need help recovering the most?
The BlackRock Foundation
Change the story for the most vulnerable.

Recovering together

COVID-19 relief
What is the true cost of a pandemic?
Social impact
Who will need help recovering the most?
The BlackRock Foundation
Change the story for the most vulnerable.

See how people have changed their story

Through 60 Second Docs Wealth, we capture real-life story changers. See how more people are achieving financial well-being.