AUSTRALIA is the biggest country in the world to invest in stocks and that’s exactly what most people in Australia do, but there’s an exception.
In fact, according to a new study by the Australian Council of Economic Advisers, there’s a very large number of Australians who do not invest at all in their own investments.
“This is a major difference in Australia from many other countries, especially in the developed world, where investors are often very focused on their own financial situation,” Dr Alan Young, chief economist at the council, said.
“And so the gap between investment and not-investment is quite wide, and there are some people who don’t invest at a very high level, for example those with superannuation.”
Dr Young said that the majority of Australians have an average savings rate of less than $20,000 a year, and that people often invest in equities or real estate, but only if they have the money.
He said the research also found that Australians who invested at least $15,000 in the past three years have the highest savings rate.
The average savings for those who had at least 10 years of investment in the last three years was $17,600, Dr Young said.
In contrast, the average savings among those who did not invest was $12,600.
“So, Australians who invest at least 30 per cent of their incomes in stocks have the lowest savings rate, while those who have invested at a much lower level have the best savings,” he said.
It is estimated that there are about 70 million Australians living in retirement.
Dr Young estimates that there may be as many as 10 per cent people living in poverty in Australia.
“They’re very vulnerable, and we need to be working with them to make sure they get the support they need to get back on their feet and to get their life on track,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.