LONDON: Teenage dreams see British youngsters aim high

Aug 23, 2012

  • Boys want to be boss while girls look to healthcare, education and fashion for careers
  • Nation's teenagers expect to own first home at 25 years old and a quarter expect their first salary to hit £22,600
  • One in three parents expects to support their children financially for the rest of their lives

London, 23 August 2012: As the nation's GCSE students receive their results today, the next generation will be seriously thinking about their futures. But the nation's teenagers are clear in their career aspirations, according to research* carried out by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The gulf between British girls' and boys' career aspirations is wide: girls hope to follow careers in healthcare (22%), education (11%) and fashion (10%), whereas boys are aiming for careers in IT (16%), with engineering (12%) and healthcare (10%) taking the next spots.

We are also a nation of budding entrepreneurs: over a quarter (27%) of teenagers surveyed hope to own their own company and be their own boss, although being the boss of a big company is more common among boys (26%) than girls (20%). Parents, however, seem to have more realistic expectations: just over one in eight (12%) expect their children to reach the top levels in their career.

The high hopes of the nation's teenagers go even further. Over a quarter of the teenagers surveyed (27%) expect their first salary to be around £22,600 a year, and they expect to buy their first homes at the tender age of 25. In reality, however, the average cost of a house for a first time buyer is around £169,000[i], with a 25% deposit standing at £42,250. With figures like these it is no surprise that the average age of the first time buyer in the UK is 30 - five years later than those surveyed hope to step onto the property ladder.

Keith Evins, Head of UK Marketing at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, commented: "They are no doubt feeling nervous this morning, but the nation's GCSE students are still an ambitious bunch. It is fantastic that teenagers in Britain are aiming high and aspiring to emulate a Lord Sugar or a Bill Gates. As parents it's important we do as much as possible to encourage and support the dreams of our children. One crucial way to do this is to help our teens prepare for the future financially. Starting from £50 per month[ii], parents and grandparents can save tax-efficiently into a Junior ISA, helping give their children and grandchildren a leg-up when it comes to taking the next step. Whether saving for a deposit for their first property or paying for a wedding, using a Junior ISA is an efficient and easy way to save for a child's future."

University is at the forefront of many teens' minds. More than three-quarters (78%) of the teens surveyed think they will attend university in the future. However, 14-16-year olds underestimate the costs of university, with just under a quarter (24%) saying it will cost between £10,000 and £15,000 per year, when the average cost of university per year (including tuition and living costs) actually lies at around £17,352. With this in mind, J.P. Morgan Asset Management asked the teens if they were currently saving for their futures. Of the 83% that had savings, the average amount in the bank was £1,743.

When speaking to parents regarding their teenagers' hopes for university, only one in ten (9%) expect to be able to pay for their children's university costs in full, with just under a third (30%) hoping to contribute towards some of the costs of university. Still, 35% of parents do feel they will be financially supporting their children in one way or another for the rest of their lives.

Keith Evins continued: "As the cost of living continues to rise, and with university tuition fees now averaging over £8,000 per year, it is no longer realistic for everyone to gain access to a university education. It is important to save for the future of our youngsters to help make their dreams a reality. If £50 per month was saved into a J.P. Morgan Asset Management Junior ISA from birth to 18, the resulting pot could total £17,333[iii], a great help towards university or a first house or business. By investing the maximum £3,600 a year or £300 a month, the pot could grow to an impressive £103,999[iv]."

J.P. Morgan Junior ISA

The Junior ISA is available on J.P. Morgan Asset Management's online platform, J.P. Morgan WealthManager+, along with ISAs, SIPPs and investment accounts, which can invest in funds offered by both J.P. Morgan Asset Management and other fund providers.

J.P. Morgan WealthManager+

The J.P. Morgan WealthManager+ online platform allows customers to access a number of financial planning tools, such as the financial health check and a tool to evaluate attitude to investment risk to help with investment decisions. It is ideal for investors who want to take control of their financial future offering a wide selection of investments including OEICs, SICAVs and investment trusts from J.P. Morgan as well as funds from other leading fund managers, equities and ETFs. Investments can be held in an ISA, SIPP or directly in an Investment Account.


[i] Office of National Statistics, House Price Index April 2012

[ii] £50 a month in a J.P. Morgan Junior ISA. Other providers may have different minimum investments.

[iii] Assuming growth of 5% a year, gross of underlying fund charges. There is no charge for the J.P. Morgan Junior ISA product. The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested.

[iv] As note iii.


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