Christchurch residents are less likely to invest in property than other New Zealanders but they top the country when it comes to favouring term deposits and bond investments.
While Cantabrians say a lack of money means they are less likely than people in Auckland or Wellington to be able to invest, those who can save are more likely than other New Zealanders to seek advice from a bank, financial advisor or accountant.
The findings are part of a study by AC Nielsen and RaboPlus aimed at probing New Zealanders money habits.
It showed that while New Zealand may be world famous for extreme sports, when it comes to investing, we're a nation of 'aqua joggers' - we like our financial investments to be low impact and contain few surprises.
A key finding of the research, released today, is that the majority of New Zealanders (69 %) are only willing to take limited, or very limited, risks when it comes to investing their hard earned money. Cantabrians stand out in this group.
Overall more than seven out of 10 New Zealanders use savings accounts as the main way of investing money. Property and term deposits are the second and third most favoured investment options.
Commenting on the Christchurch specifics, Mayor Garry Moore said he was not overly surprised by the results.
"While myth has the canny savers further down south in Dunedin, the reality is that Christchurch is inclined toward the fiscally conservative. This trait means that Christchurch is traditionally spared the extremes of other cities both in areas like property prices and in investment in general.
"It means that the city infrastructure is well looked after and it also helps me politically given that I am also an accountant. Being prudent has its merits, especially when it comes to areas such as investment," he said.
Registered Psychologist Sara Chatwin reviewed the research for RaboPlus, and developed a set of five investor profiles which she matched with a range of popular sporting activities.
- Aqua joggers (40 %) take very limited risks with their financial investments. They don't want any surprises or high impact options.
- Power walkers (29 %) take limited risks with their financial investments. They are eager to reap rewards but don't want to put any pressure on themselves.
- Mountain bikers (16 %) are good at judging their financial investment risk. They like to study the options, and pick one to suit the level of excitement they feel like taking.
- Snowboarders (6 %) take some risks with their financial investments and enjoy the thrill of the chase.
- Bungy jumpers (1 %) take high risks with their financial investments. There might be a bungy cord but you never know how tightly it's attached.
Sara Chatwin says it's incredible that New Zealanders are so conservative in their approach to money matters and investment.
"We live in the 'thrill seekers capital of the world' but this is certainly not reflected in our financial affairs."
The General Manager of RaboPlus, Mike Heath, says the research was commissioned because, as a new provider in New Zealand's online savings and investment market, RaboPlus was keen to ensure its investment products meet customer needs.
"Given that the majority of Kiwi investors are risk averse, we are confident that RaboPlus' range of low risk investment options will continue to have widespread appeal," he said.
RaboPlus offers high interest online on call savings accounts and term deposits, and recently became the first bank in New Zealand to launch online access to managed funds. Investors can choose managed funds from three of New Zealand's most reputable funds providers: AMP Capital Investors, Tower and Asteron.
The research highlighted that females aged 35+ on high incomes are more likely than their male counterparts to invest in managed funds.
Mr Heath says he isn't surprised by this finding.
"We chose RaboGirl to be the face of RaboPlus because we know there are a lot of career women in their 30s and 40s who are internet and financially savvy. They like being in control of their finances and are comfortable making investment decisions without the aid, and unwanted cost, of financial advice from a third party," he says.
When asked what would make them more likely to buy investment funds instead of just savings or term deposits, just under half of the survey participants (46 %) stated more money. Other reasons mentioned were better returns, greater security, a trusted ethical company and lower costs.