Surveys outcomes are always interesting, and if it is about investors, the outcomes can influence several others. The SEBI Investors Survey 2015 outcomes were recently out, which quantifies actions and perceptions of retail investors. According to the survey, it appears that banks followed by insurance are the most preferred financial destinations for investors’ money. The survey was conducted at a time when mutual funds were spreading the importance of investing and benefits of mutual funds throughout the country. Moreover, the period witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of new investors in mutual funds and a rising base of assets managed by mutual funds in the country.
Interestingly, according to the survey, more than 70 per cent of investors depend on financial planners and maintain running accounts or standing orders with their brokers. However, it emerged that despite a strong relationship with the broker, retail investors continue to primarily trust their own judgment when making investment decisions.
The survey estimates that there were a total of 3.37 crore investor households in India. Of these, 70 per cent reside in urban areas while the other 1 crore were rural households. Among these, mutual funds were the most popular investment options, with nearly 66 per cent or 2.2 crore households as investors. Amongst the equity investors, about 18 per cent or 33 lakh invested in IPOs.
An interesting trend that emerged was that investors’ base in India was increasing and nearly 75 per cent of the investors polled participated in the securities markets for the first time within the last five years. For those who think investing is yet to catch up, the numbers may not seem much, but going by recent trends of retail investor pull in the capital markets, there is a lot that is gaining ground among investors in the country.