While a lack of large tracts of cash is the primary barrier keeping people from investing, a perceived lack of understanding remains a significant barrier to consumers entering the market according to research from Vanguard.

The global investment management company says 21 per cent of people refrain from investing due to a “lack of understanding”, which is linked to 20 per cent who “worry about making a bad investment”.

By far the biggest impediment, however, is a simple lack of funds; a lack of capital was cited by 50 perc cent of consumers as the main reason for not investing.

People are also overinflating the amount of money they think they need to start investing according to the provider, with 35 per cent seeing $10,000 as the minimum benchmark.

“The survey highlights that many people hesitate to get started investing because of the misconception that you need a substantial amount of money,” comments Balaji Gopal, Vanguard’s head of personal investment.

“However, investing beyond bluechip shares and property, which historically has been the mainstay for Australians investors outside of super, has become far more accessible in recent years.”

While millennials were more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies (20 per cent) than millennials (15 per cent) an Gen Xers (ten per cent), Gopal warned against the speculative nature of these investments.

“We do urge caution against speculating in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are largely unregulated and accompanied by a number of considerable risks including the potential loss of investment entirely in some instances,” he said.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning. Contact at [email protected]
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