Retail investors find well-established stocks and bond markets to be more arcane than the wild world of cryptocurrencies, a survey by the world economic forum (WEF) showed on Thursday.
The privately-funded WEF’s survey, in collaboration with BNY Mellon and Accenture, showed that 29% of investors said they did not understand the nascent cryptocurrency market, whereas nearly 40% of investors noted that they didn’t understand stocks or bonds.
The survey also revealed that 70% of retail investors were under 45 years of age. “With global adoption and trading volumes of crypto rising substantially over the last few years, there has been a lot of buzz about it, which is likely influencing investors’ product awareness,” said Meagan Andrews, investing lead at WEF.
“Less coverage of more traditional products, like stocks and bonds, may also have the opposite effect on awareness.” The cryptocurrency market value ballooned to as much as $3 trillion last year, according to data platform CoinMarketCap.com, but it has lost nearly two-thirds of its value amid surging inflation and tightening financial conditions.
The Crypto market’s peak, however, was minuscule in comparison to the $124.4 trillion global equity market and the even bigger $126.9 trillion bond market in 2021, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The survey comes as retail investors become a force to be reckoned with after they banded together on social media forums last year to drive eye-watering rallies in GameStop and squeezed bearish hedge funds.
A poll by Gallup published in May showed that 58% of Americans said that they own stocks. The WEF survey of more than 9,000 individuals across nine countries also revealed that a majority of investors were looking to build long-term wealth. But, about 40% of those surveyed did not invest and said they did so because they didn’t know how to invest or found investing too confusing.