Getting students to save (and then some)

A group of Canadian business students may have discovered what it takes for Millennials to start investing.

Jess Morgan 12 May, 2016 | 5:00PM

 

 

Phil Rebiere: My name is Phil Rebiere. I'm going into my senior year at the Ivey Business School, and recently myself and my team participated in the Deloitte Innovation Forum, where we were tasked with coming up with an innovation for the Wealthsimple platform, where we got Canadians to save more and save sooner, and then transition these savers into investors.

Wealthsimple is an online investment platform using a passive style of investing that assigns you a predetermined portfolio based off a risk survey that you take, and this risk survey assigns you a risk profile from 1 to 9, where 9 is the highest and 1 is the lowest.

So we were tasked with going out into the field and finding research on the 18 to 34-year-old demographic and finding the key barriers to why these Canadians aren't saving and why they are hesitant to invest. The key barriers between becoming an investor and saver is a lack of understanding, a little bit of an intimidation with the concept of investing and a lack of financial literacy.

We looked to create a savings platform that allowed students and young adults to save for various tasks; for example, a car down payment, education. But we also wanted to introduce them into the concepts of investing by showing them how much faster their goals can be reached by investing, as well as explaining basic definitions and fundamentals such as stocks, bonds, ETFs and various other investment topics.

“Here is your update. You are about six months away, contributing at a monthly amount. But if you were to invest it at X risk profile, you could reach your goal sooner.” And that could have been a week, a month, whatever that is based off your risk profile.

When we asked them if this something they’d be interested in doing, they seemed actually very interested in learning more about the platform. We also found that investing through an online platform with this demographic is actually something that they'd be very willing to do and very trusting of, based off a lot of their use of other online platforms. That's something we were quite surprised about, but pleasantly surprised.

About Author

Jess Morgan

Jess Morgan  Jess Morgan is the associate editor of Morningstar Canada’s website. She began her career as a television producer and freelance writer, often making appearances on TV and radio as a commentator on politics and culture. She holds a BA in communications from the University of Winnipeg and a diploma in Creative Communications from Red River College.