Investment Behavior Around the World

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Investment Behavior Around the World

The world is composed of various cultures and people with different tastes, personalities, and ways of investing. However, some investment behaviors can be seen across dozens of other countries and can help us better understand the market we all participate in. In this article, seven countries will be analyzed on their investment trends and who is participating in the stock market.

United States

Starting with the United States, sources report that 56% of Americans own stock. The survey conducted by Gallup in 2021 found that stock ownership was more common from 2001 to 2008 when an average of 62% of U.S. adults said they owned stock – but this number fell after the 2007-2009 recession and has not fully rebounded.

The number of American owning stocks in 2021 was similar to the average of 55% recorded in both 2019 and 2020, and the average of 55% Gallup has measured since 2009.

Percentage of Americans That Owns Stock

his survey also found that stock ownership is strongly correlated with household income, formal education, age, and race. According to findings, the percentages of owning stock range from highs of 89% of adults in households earning $100,000 per year or more and 84% of those with postgraduate education to lows of 24% of those in households earning less than $40,000 annually and 29% of Hispanic adults.

Investing is also considered one of the biggest financial goals for nearly 1 in 5 Americans. A recent survey from Bankrate stated that almost 18 percent of survey respondents declared that boosting their retirement savings or investing more was their top goal. This goal was similar for most age groups (Generation Z, millennials, and Generation X), who all reported similar interest levels in wanting to boost their portfolios at 20 to 21 percent.

Czech Republic

A survey done by Generali Investments CEE in 2021 found that almost a tenth of the Czech people keep their savings in a current account or cash. And more than one-fifth of them have over 100,000 crowns in cash or on a current account.

At the same time, Czechs are becoming more interested in investing, and a fifth of investors are now even more active than before the pandemic. 38% of the people surveyed currently invest part of their earnings. As shown by the survey, with 15% of people, it accounts for at least a tenth of their income. One-tenth of people consider investing through investment funds the most suitable way to save money.

In general, the survey has shown that women are more conservative investors. 23.5% of men invest in high-risk funds, which is twice more compared to women. By contrast, women are more than twice as likely to choose a low risk, namely 35%, compared to men.

United Kingdom

According to studies conducted by Wesleyan University, only 12% of the U.K. population invested in the stock market in 2018. A high contrast compared to the percentage of investors in the United States. This is surprisingly low because, according to a survey conducted by This is Money, 75% of young people in the U.K. have invested or are considering investing.

The survey conducted by Wesleyan University also indicates that more than 70% of respondents think that investing in the stock market could be very profitable in the long term.

Brits tend to invest more in stocks and tech companies; however, Brits also have other investment options at their disposal, such as pensions (workplace and personal), investment bonds, and property investments.

Investors in the U.K. also tend to be men. U.K. investment statistics say men are more willing to invest, as 17% of men have stocks and shares ISA (Individual Savings Account), compared to just 10% of women.

Women also seem to know less about investing. 40% of women do not know that they can invest in more than one type of ISA simultaneously. This is true for just 30% of men.


In 2020, a survey conducted by GfK Italia found that participation in financial markets had slightly increased relative to the previous year, involving around 34% of households.

This survey specified that after bank and postal savings, the most frequently held products are mutual funds and Italian government bonds.

While 85% of investors monitor their investments, 49% do it more than twice a year and 11% more often than usual during market turmoil. About half of the investors monitor their portfolios alone.

As for investment styles, reliance on professional support (i.e. financial advice and portfolio management) significantly increased from 30% in 2019 to around 41% in 2020, to the expense of self-managed decisions down from 40% to about 29%.

Breakdown of household financial assets


According to a survey conducted by Inyova about Swiss investment habits, in 2020, 44% of the interviewed individuals have never invested, and 49% have little experience. Only 7% of those surveyed consider themselves experienced investors. On top of that, only 8% of investors use a traditional bank for their investments.

This survey found that those with more working experience tend to set aside less money for investments and are less likely to add money to current investments. It also established that 64% of people with 10-19 years of work experience hold investments, and 8% consider themselves experienced investors. Additionally, 60% of people with 20-30 years of work experience hold investments, and 11% consider themselves experienced investors.

65% of women have never invested, compared to 20% of men, a trend also seen in other countries. Furthermore, those with the primary financial goal of giving their family a more secure life are also less likely to have tried investing.

32% of those who have invested before set aside between CHF 500 and 1,000 each month for savings or investments.

When asked who managed their investments, 55% of respondents said they did it themselves, while 38% said they relied on an advisor or a combination of several methods.


According to Finder, about half (49%) of Australians, an estimated 9.5 million people, now own shares. When surveyed about why they invest, 41% confirmed they invest because it delivers a good return on investment, 26% invest to build up their retirement fund, and 22% invest. After all, savings interest rates are poor.

The survey also shows that Gen Z (those aged 25 and younger) tend to find investing the least intimidating and are more likely to give stocks a go than other generations, followed closely by Gen Y (those aged 26-40).

When it comes to gender Australia also shows a gap between genders, with women being less keen than men to try it out. Men are more likely to invest than women in every generation, but the divide is lessening with each passing generation.

From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, the divide has narrowed from 13% to 8%.

Gender differences between men and women in investing – Australia


In Singapore, more than half (52%) of the population over the age of 16 have an investment in stock or equities, according to a poll conducted by Milieu Insight and analyzed by Finder. This equates to roughly 1.5 million Singaporeans over the age of 16.

In Singapore, stocks and equities are the most popular investment types, with over half the population participating in the market. Next on the list is property, with 34% investing in property as an owner-occupier – that’s just a bit shy of a million people.

When comparing genders, both men and women are more likely to invest in stocks and equities. However, men are 23 percentage points more likely to do so, with 41% of women investing compared to a whopping 64% of Singaporean men.

Women were twice as likely to say they didn’t have any investments, with 26% saying “I don’t own any investments” compared to 13% of men.

Over half (54%) of Singaporeans aged 16 to 24 mention not knowing where to start as the number one reason they haven’t bought stock/equities, with 51% of people aged 25 to 34 saying the same.

Honorable Mentions

It isn’t easy to find accurate and relevant information when it comes to analyzing the investments of a specific country. Most of the time there are only tiny bits of information. Keeping this in mind, here is some additional information about France and Germany.


Fewer than 12% of households owned equities directly in 2015, down from 16.3% in 2004.

According to Statista, in February of 2019, 19 percent of French people were willing to invest or invest more in the stock market, and 80 percent were not.


A yearly survey conducted by Deutsches Aktieninstitut found that in 2021, almost 12.1 million people in Germany were invested in shares, equity funds, or equity-based ETFs. That is around one in six German citizens over the age of 14 and the third-highest level since this study began in 1997.

This equals 14% of the German population in the age of above 14 years.

The interest in investing is growing in every country around the world. Some already have a significant percentage of investors participating in the market. Some are only now seeing the potential in investing in stocks and other commodities.

Although different for each country, we can see some trends forming. Women are less likely to invest or know what to invest in, and younger generations are more interested in investing. If you belong to one of these groups, or even if you don’t, you might find value in one of our strategies to help investors achieve success without having vast knowledge about this topic. Investors should always focus on their investment objectives, costs, and prospective returns, balancing those factors with their risk tolerance. We are here to make investment objectives a reality with your risk tolerance in mind.