Swedes are the most fund-loving people in the world and investing spans from childhood to the rocking chair.
The proportion of Swedish private investors who save their money in funds is greater than any other country in the world. During the past two years, investment in funds have skyrocketed and the most active have been funds covering growth markets, according to a study conducted by SIFO.
One reason for this is the government's mandate to invest about half of each Swedish person's basic pension in government run funds, called premium funds, and 82% have also invested additional private money in other funds. In only two years, since 2008, this has increased by eight percent.
Among fund investors, 74% have mutual funds with automatic investment transfers each month from personal accounts...and it's not just retirees, either. In fact, 66% of Sweden's children today have money invested in funds. Notably, only 4% of the fund investors say they focus on ethics and environment, although 31% say that this is a good idea.
"It is very gratifying to note the great interest in funds," says Investment Fund Association (Fondbolagens Förening) president Pia Nilsson. "The study showed that new investors are joining every year, and the largest interest is in equity funds. This suggests that Swedish investors want to be in on the potential profit making upswing after the market downturn during 2008," she notes.
Almost half of Sweden's private fund investors (47%) received counseling during the past two years, and 34% are willing to pay for independent advice. In the youngest target group from 18-42 years of age, 40% think advice is a worthwhile expenditure. 72% of men and 58% of women think it's easy to save in funds, and 50% of women and 62% of men say that they have sufficient knowledge of personal finance.
The study revealed that most common reasons that Swedes save in funds is to increase pensions (46%) and build a nest eggs (43%). Only 11% say they save for a specific purpose such as travel and housing. Increased interest in direct stock investments was also lopsided and the study revelaed that only 25% of women have shares compared to 42% of men. Elderly Swedish people are the main purchasers of bonds.
"During certain financial crises, people became more frightened. This last time the market dropped greatly, so apparently many now believe that it is going to shoot up again," states Nilsson.
For more info on Fondbolagens Förening: www.fondbolagen.se