This year, in a market marked by instability and rapidly soaring energy prices, 41% of Belgians investors bought shares or paid into equity funds, according to Dutch bank ING’s latest monthly barometer. Of those investors, around 40% regret the decision to make an investment.
Statistics from ING also reveal Belgians attitudes towards making investment. Most Belgians view the stock market as a form of long-term investment, only seeking to extract a profit within five years, or between one and five years.
The data also shows that Belgians are very cautious investors, generally avoiding risk. 30% of investors only invest into a stock if it has increased in price over the course of the last year, 28% refuse to invest if the value of the investment has fallen at all within this period. Female investors and French-speakers are shown to be the most cautious investors.
ING says that recent downtrends across the market, with most major companies recording decreasing share prices at the start of the year, could be an opportunity for Belgian investors to enter the stock market. Belgians, however, do not trust chances on today’s market. 59% of investors say that they are not ready to take any risk with their savings at the moment.
“Belgian investors know that the long term is important, which does not prevent them from also letting themselves be guided by recent price movements and their emotions when making purchasing decisions,” said Peter Vanden Houte, lead economist at ING Belgium.
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The bank’s barometer shows that, for the sixth consecutive month, confidence in the stock is 28 points below its normal level, demonstrating widespread pessimism about the markets.
French-speakers were more optimistic about the market than Dutch speakers, likely due to the fact that the risk-appetite for Dutch-speaking investors is much higher than for those in France.