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65 is the new 35 for business investing

  • By Andrew Sullivan
  • News

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 (those aged 55-72) 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 in the UK private sector through their investment portfolio as they reach a pensionable age.

The UK Business Angels Association has conducted nationally representative research into the changing attitudes of Baby Boomers regarding business investments, and found the following:

42% of 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 investors aged 55 and over say that there is insufficient information surrounding new technologies that allows them to invest in sectors they were otherwise unaware of;

38% – 2.7 million – of Baby Boomers would invest into the sector that they were employed in;

42% of investors aged over 55 agree that Baby Boomers are the most powerful community of investors to help grow small and medium businesses in the UK;

29% of investors aged over 55 would like to support local businesses or entrepreneurs who benefit their community;

21% of 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, commented on how the Baby Boomer generation could be the cornerstone of future investment in the UK:

“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 its 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.”

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