I couldn’t help but reflect on two huge trends that have accelerated on the back of the Covid pandemic as I spoke to Meikayla Moore for her annual review this month. One of these is the huge influx of younger investors into the share market, the other being the massive growth in video conferencing and remote working.
HHG has had to adapt from the get-go with the lockdowns that begun in March 2020, coinciding with the worst of the share market crash that occurred so quickly last year (the NZX50 dropped over 30% in little over one-month last year). Being able to work from home during this period was essential, and the work we did in the build up helped make it a relatively seamless experience for our clients (disaster recovery testing is something most Christchurch business should be very accustomed to).
Many clients were happy to talk over the phone instead of the traditional in-person meeting, however, for those that preferred, talking over Zoom or Microsoft Teams was a worthy substitute.
Talking to Meikayla after training in Liverpool shows that doing business across time zones is only limited by your ability to line up your respective calendars.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and whilst conferencing technology was not entirely new, the investment in it that has been made of late has accelerated its advancement and made the ability to do business over long distances an essential part of any business’s operations.
Discussing investments with someone in their twenties was also not entirely common a few years ago. The fact that so many have discovered the market of late can only be a good thing. The proportion of New Zealanders with some direct exposure to shares has grown from 17% to 21% in the last two years.
This has been led by many new platforms offering younger investors easy access to the markets. We aim to offer easy access ourselves, although we’re aware that many may see HHG as focused on older, wealthier individuals, we want to let our clients know that if their family is looking at dipping their toe in the market for the first time, we are more than happy to point them in the right direction.
That direction may not always result in an account being set up with Hamilton Hindin Greene, but we believe in having the conversation.
A conversation around the risks of the share market, the benefits of diversification, and some of the other basics of investing is a great foundation for younger investors to build on.
As noted above, we are pleased to see so many young investors in the market, however we are also weary that many may not have full regard to the risks involved (particularly as some of the apps, and online chat groups, tend to funnel investors into more volatile stocks).
The market crash of 1987 left a generation of New Zealanders with a negative view of the share market, and although we do not see a crash as being imminent (let’s be honest, they are very difficult to see at the best of times) a marked reduction in markets will hit the volatile stocks the hardest.
We’d hate to see another generation lost because they took too much risk without a full understanding of the risk they were taking.
That being said, we need to acknowledge our role in making sure investors are fully informed. This was something else I took out of my call with Meikayla. She has a willingness to learn that is unsurprising given the level of success she has achieved at such a young age. However, where does one go to get this information in a world that is so full with disinformation these days?
We want to be that resource for investors, and will be working to create free resources to help teach investors the basics, and to help them avoid common pitfalls. A link to the first such resource is below.