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Covid-19 leaves two-thirds of Irish worried about finances

Three in ten people (30%) in Ireland said they were hoping to invest in stocks and shares prior to lockdown measures being introduced. However, a survey of over 1,000 people conducted by B&A on behalf of Blackbee Investments found that figure fell to just 17% after lockdown measures were implemented. 

When questioned in April, two out of three people said they were worried about their finances, with one in six saying they are ‘very worried’. In the 35 to 44 age group, 70% are worried about their finances and this drops to 57% for the over 65 age group. 

The comprehensive survey found that over half of respondents said they would only invest in organisations or funds that are ‘socially responsible’. The research shows that people are seeking out more investments that have a clear societal impact. The research highlights that momentum is gathering behind community focused initiatives in particular and that we can expect to see a rise in conscientious capitalism, with social values being prioritised. 

Meanwhile, of those looking to invest, when asked in March, a quarter were looking to invest less than €100 per month. Almost nine out of ten people surveyed said they do a lot of research before investing, which shows that potential investors have become more discerning when making decisions. The survey also found that close to half of people surveyed believe that stocks and shares are only for high earners.  

CEO of Blackbee Investments, David O’Shea said: “The negative impact of Covid-19 is clearly evident in this survey with just one in six now likely to invest in stocks and shares in the next 12 months. However what is interesting is that over half of those surveyed said they would only invest in organisations or funds that are ‘socially responsible’. The survey shows that people are seeking out more investments that have a clear societal impact. The research also shows that this coming of age is different to philanthropy in that investors are looking for financial returns and the social impact of those investments. They are not sacrificing return to have an impact. 

David O’Shea continued; “Social Impact Investing is an up and coming topic and we would expect to see more focus on it following the Covid 19 crisis. We are very proud of our Healthcare Investment Product and it is performing well at the moment. We see this as an investment that will set new care standards, offer transformative social impact, whilst simultaneously driving the economy.” 

“While the negative impact of Covid-19 is clearly in evidence, its interesting to see that it’s having less impact on consumers declaring themselves ‘very likely’ to invest (which has dropped by just over 20%) compared to consumers who are ‘somewhat likely’ to invest (which has dropped by 50%). This suggests to us that the crisis will impact and hold back those who are less confident, while the more resolute and assured will be better placed to capitalise as the markets recover” – Dr Maggie Matthews Director, Behaviours and Attitudes

Last year, Blackee established Aperee, the operational arm of its Healthcare Fund. The Healthcare Investment Fund, which will result in the creation of Ireland’s largest residential care group is performing very well. The fund is seeking to raise €250m to invest in the acquisition and development of state-of-the-art care homes, with the money being targeted from both institutional and professional private investors. Click here for more information on the Healthcare Fund.

Irish Times covered the key findings today, click here to read