Empowering retail investors - typical client behaviour in the Scalable Broker shows that people are investing in the capital markets long term for their retirement

Munich, 14.12.2023 In the Scalable Broker, ETFs are favoured and savings plans are very popular; especially among the „Generation Y” (GenY). This is shown by the analysis of client behaviour from Scalable Capital, a leading digital investment platform in Europe. This is the second time that the company provides insights into the investment preferences of its clients. An analysis of investors from six European countries shows that young people, in particular, are leading the way in long-term wealth creation

"Instead of gambling, our clients invest over the long term with savings plans. Global ETFs remain the most popular choice, and recently there has been increased diversification with a rise in interest rate investments to reduce risks. The younger the client, the more textbook the investor," says Erik Podzuweit, founder and Co-CEO of Scalable Capital, explaining a central key finding.

Responsible investing continues to gain in importance among young people and women: "Investments based on environmental, social and ethical criteria are particularly common in the portfolios of GenZ and women. Almost a third of our customers have ESG investments," says Erik Podzuweit. In the first half of 2023, portfolios at Scalable Capital accounted for almost one percent of all global net inflows into ESG products - i.e. including money from large insurers, funds, and other professional investors1.

1This is based on figures from the STOXX Quarterly ETF Intelligence Insights Report.

The need to privately provide for retirement exists throughout Europe. Nevertheless, investment behaviour of the clients differs in the various European countries. For example, the analysis of clients shows that in Italy, proportionately more is invested in ETFs compared to other forms of investment than in Spain.

Looking at the currently discussed regulation in the retail investment strategy at EU level, one thing becomes clear: "Our data shows that brokers like Scalable Capital enable retail investors to participate in the capital market. They use this primarily for long-term pension provision. However, this is only made possible by commission-free saving and investing at low order fees," the CEO continues.

The most significant results of the analysis:

Low-cost ETFs are the clear favourite among asset classes

  • Textbook investing: More than two thirds of users (67 percent) invest in cost-efficient, exchange-traded investment funds that track indices such as the MSCI World. This makes ETFs by far the most popular asset class in the Scalable Broker. Stocks rank second in all age groups.
  • Younger clients favour ETFs: 18 to 34-year-olds have almost three quarters (73 percent) of their assets invested in ETFs, making them the leading group. With increasing age, the share falls to below 60 percent.
  • More for your money: Scalable clients are not only looking for low rates when it comes to order fees: the products they choose must also be cost-effective. At 0.27 percent, the average operating costs of the ETFs and funds invested in with the Scalable Broker are well below the EU average of 1.4 percent2.
  • 2compare ESMA, Performance and Costs of EU Retail Investment Products, 2022.

    Long-term investing is in vogue; female investors invest most responsibly
  • Almost half of broker clients invest regularly - among female investors, the figure is even higher. On average, clients have almost four savings plans and invest just under 450 euros a month.
  • Particularly popular with younger people: the 25 to 34 age group leads the way in savings, accounting for 39 percent of the savings plan volume. They are followed by 35 to 44-year-olds with almost 30 percent. The youngest age group (18 to 24 years) has increased its share of the savings volume 4.5-fold in the past two years.
  • Diversified and sustainable wealth creation: Well over half of investors (60 percent) invest in broadly diversified indices. Nearly a third of clients invest in products with an ESG focus.

  • Increased interest in bonds and interest rates
  • Since the beginning of the year, investments in interest rate products (bonds and bond ETFs) have more than doubled. Products with a short remaining duration or money market ETFs are the most popular.
  • However, interest rate products and the interest offered on cash, continue to play only a minor role in most securities accounts. They are used for diversification purposes, but investors maintain their long-term horizon and focus mainly on equity ETFs or individual shares.

  • Trending topics: Clean energy and climate change before AI
  • AI is also on the rise in investing! However, the most popular thematic ETFs are undisputedly funds from the clean energy and climate change sectors. Among all age groups, GenZ favours these ETF topics the most.

  • A look at other EU countries: What can Germany learn from its neighbours?
  • More ETFs: With around two thirds of assets, ETFs are the clear favourite among German investors. But clients from France, the Netherlands and, above all, Italy show that there is more to it! Germany’s neighbours invest more than three quarters (76 percent) of their assets in low-cost funds.
  • More interest: Southern Europeans are also ahead when it comes to bonds. While in Germany just one in twenty euros in ETFs (5 percent) is invested in bond products, the figure for Spain is more than three times as high (17 percent).
  • More savings: In France, investors have the most savings plans in Europe with an average of five.

  • Generation Z (GenZ) and women are catching up
  • Over the past two years, the age group of 18 to 24-year-olds, known as GenZ, has seen the strongest proportional growth in the Scalable Broker: the number of users has increased more than sixfold. Overall, however, they are still behind the 25 to 34-year-olds, known as Generation Y, who make up 39 percent of clients.
  • The proportion of women is growing across all age groups, most strongly in GenZ. The proportion of women has now risen to a quarter of all clients, up from seven percent at the launch of the broker.

  • About Scalable Capital

    Scalable Capital is a leading digital investment platform in Europe that makes investing easy and affordable for everyone. Clients of the Scalable Broker can trade 8,000 stocks, 2,500 ETFs, and 3,500 funds and other exchange traded products to build their portfolios, earn interest on their cash balance and take secured loans. The PRIME subscription enables unlimited trading on all orders over 250 euro. Clients in PRIME+ receive up to 4 % p.a. on uninvested cash up to 1 million euro. People can also have their investments professionally managed via the digital wealth management service. Scalable Capital was founded in 2014 and is active in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. The investment firm, which is supervised by BaFin and the Bundesbank, has more than 16 billion euro on its platform. In addition to its business for private clients, the company operates B2B solutions. Its long-standing partners include ING, Barclays Bank in the UK, the robo-advisor Oskar, and the Santander Group in Spain. Scalable Capital employs more than 450 people at its offices in Munich, Berlin, and London. Together with the founding and management team around Erik Podzuweit and Florian Prucker, they strive to empower everyone to become an investor. More information at: www.scalable.capital

    Media contact

    Ina Froehner
    Scalable Capital
    VP Communications and Public Affairs

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