As Female Baby Boomers approach their most investable decade, where is the retirement wealth headed?
The investment capacity of the Baby Boomer generation is undeniably the most powerful across the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2016, Baby Boomers owned 36% of the UK’s household wealth, with one in five measured to be millionaires.
From the period 2006-2016, the collective wealth of the Baby Boomer generation has increased by 96%. In terms of generational finance, this investment community has now retired from life-long careers, with many keen to keep a foothold on the UK private sector through their investment portfolio as they reach a pensionable age.
With political uncertainty still afoot amidst the succession of Boris Johnson to the office of Prime Minister and the course he will run to deliver Brexit, the loss of European Investment Bank Funds a no-deal Brexit will affect the length and breadth of the UK SME ecosystem, especially those in the regions. To that end, the role of Baby Boomer investors as a spine of finance for junior arm of the UK private sector has never been more critical.
The UK Business Angels Association has conducted nationally representative research into the changing attitudes of Baby Boomers regarding business investments, and found the following:
- 32% of female investors aged 55 and over say that once retired, they would still like to maintain a role within a business and would, therefore, consider an active investment role to achieve this
- One in five female investors aged 55 and over say that there is an insufficient wealth of information surrounding new technologies that allow them to invest in sectors they were otherwise unaware of
- 37% – 1.3 million – of female Baby Boomers would invest in the sector that they were employed in
- 49% of female investors aged over 55 agree that baby boomers (those aged 55-72) are the most powerful community of investors to help grow small and medium businesses in the UK
- 46% of female investors aged over 55 would like to support local businesses or entrepreneurs who benefit their community
- 32% of female investors aged over 55 are looking to take a more active role in their investments out of preference to portfolio services
Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, comments on how women of the Baby Boomer generation could be the cornerstone of future investment in the UK;
“With a no-deal Brexit not beyond the realms of possibility, businesses will need to maximise and exhaust all avenues for potential investment. If it becomes the case that institutional capital from the continent dries up, alternative sources in Britain will have to be found. This is where Business Angels can make a huge difference.
The investment capacity of Baby Boomers outstrips every other generation in the UK. It is unprecedented for a single generation to have such financial influence and it would be a shame if this capacity wasn’t fully utilised. It is, therefore, encouraging that our research has highlighted that a significant proportion of Baby Boomers are interested in establishing investment portfolios after they retire, particularly within the sectors that have established their careers. This trend of community-based vicarious entrepreneurial investment based on a sense of gratitude and commitment to a sector has shown itself to be particularly prevalent in our research, with millions of Baby Boomers stating that they would reinvest into their former employment sector.
With the current political unrest surrounding Brexit and it’s potential impact, it is likely that investor confidence in backing British business may be affected. Therefore, if we can replenish any void created by caution with healthy business angel-backed deal flow, there may still be hope for British businesses after the UK leaves the European Union.”