Japan’s financial landscape is transforming fast as the female retail investors are moving towards diversified assets to park their savings, according to a Japan Times report.
Foreign exchange investment has always been the preference for Japanese housewives, also known as “Mrs. Watanabes,” to put the family savings.
However, this investment trend is changing mostly among the young females in the age group of the 20s and 30s.
This shift from forex to diversified assets is largely due to the significant plummet of many high-yielding units like the Turkish Lira, which was one of the popular choices among the retail investors.
“All my savings were in cash, but I thought that’s really scary,” said Haruka Hirokawa, a 32-year-old Japanese call center employee, told Japan Times. “I thought it’ll be necessary to diversify my investments globally from now on.”
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So far, Hirokawa invested 130,000 yen (around $1,190) which she divided to put in eigh trust funds, including international equity and multi-asset funds.
Unpopular Bank Deposits
Unlike many countries, bank deposits in Japan are not very popular due to the near-zero returns. However, more than half of the ¥1.859 quadrillion ($17.19 trillion) in Japanese household assets are still either in bank deposits or cash, compared with 13.1 percent for the United States, according to the Japan Times.
Moreover, data from the Central Council for Financial Services Information showed that 59 percent of households inhabited by people in their 20s didn’t have any savings in 2017, up from 31.8 percent a decade earlier. This figure went down to 26 percent in another survey conducted by J.D. Power, a consultancy firm.
Though young female investors only hold a fraction of the investment base when compared to their senior counterparts, the trend of putting the money in a wide financial market will only make the financial system healthy.
“Younger Watanabes are building nest eggs through regular and small investments into passive funds. Many take on international exposure by diversifying their holdings through multiple funds, rather than direct investments in underlying assets,” said Minako Takekawa, a financial journalist.