There was an increase of some 6% over the past year in the number of savings plans that Norwegian retail investors have with financial institutions to direct money into funds, according to data from the Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association (VFF).
Through 2018, some 52,310 new contracts for such savings were signed, of which some 38% involve the aksjesparekonto, a type of account intended to foster tax efficient savings at the personal level in the country. This has taken the total number of contracted savings plans involving investments in funds to 905,292, the VFF said. In most cases it involves monthly transfers from a bank account into securities funds. Averaged out over the year, some NOK868m (€88m) of fund shares were acquired monthly this way.
Bernt S. Zakariassen, CEO, said there was a strong argument that a regular monthly investment into equity and balanced funds could be the best form of long term savings.
"By spreading your investments in the equity market over time, the risk is reduced of investing at the 'wrong' time. With regular automatic withdrawlas from your bank account every month, the savings work by themselves without you having to think about it."
On average, Norwegians are saving NOK958 (€97) per month, which is up by NOK44 on the same time last year.
The akjesparekonto regime has provided a philip to savings, VFF notes. It was launched in the autumn of 2017, and the data suggests that those saving through this type of account on average save more per month than those elsewhere; some NOK1,033 versus NOK908.
Another trend noted is in the demographics. Most of the contracted savings agreements are held by those in the 40-59 age bracket, which accounts for almost half. However, it is in the 25-39 age bracket where there has been the biggest increase proportionately over the past year, where there has been an increase of some 12% in the number of such agreements.
Men continue to account for a bigger share of this market, both in terms of the numbers of savings agreements, but also because they save more per month on average. Currently, men account for some 62% of total assets saved in this way.
(Charts source: VFF)