Half of Brits are intimidated by investing, with 38% baffled by jargon, according to research from Lloyds Bank.
The research revealed that the UK’s most misunderstood investment term is ‘asset class’, with 77% confused about its meaning. More than a quarter (29%) don’t understand the term ‘inflation’, including 6% who have never heard of it.
Some 26% said it would be easier to learn an entirely new language or go on a first date (23%) than to start investing (21%), although more than half (51%) said that they would be open to learning the basics of investing if appropriate instruction and support was in place.
Nearly half of those without investments (48%) said they don’t want to risk losing money, while 38% of Brits – rising to 44% of women – confessed that they are clueless about financial terms. Common investment terms that bewilder Brits include shares (31%), stocks (37%), portfolio (37%) and dividend (42%).
Some of the other terms that Brits don’t understand include gilts (70%), risk appetite (62%) and equities (59%).
Only one-in-five (21%) of those surveyed claimed to have high financial literacy regarding investing.
Learning the language
Lloyds has partnered with lexicographer and TV personality Susie Dent to demystify the terminology, to help people better understand finance and to support them on their first steps towards investing.
Dent said: “It’s clear from this research that the language of investments is one many of us simply don’t understand. Happily, there are ways in which we can get far more comfortable with unfamiliar vocabulary. From using a dictionary to taking notes, it’s possible for anyone to get to grips with a new topic and its unfamiliar terminology.”
Jo Harris, relationship banking, director at Lloyds Bank, added: “We know there’s appetite amongst Brits to make their money work harder, but investing remains a confusing and intimidating topic for millions.”