Advisers think their clients do not want to invest in start-up companies, despite almost half saying they are interested in the asset class, a study has found.

A study by Octopus Investments found that just 17 per cent of advisers think their clients are interested in the asset class.

However, 45 per cent of investors actually are keen to explore early stage companies.

The firm surveyed around 1,000 UK adults with investments partly or fully managed by an adviser along with 200 financial advisers.

It uncovered another “perception gap” with 36 per cent of advisers saying their client base had become more risk averse, compared with 53 per cent of investors saying they would be willing to take on more risk to achieve more growth.

There was also a disconnect between what advisers thought their clients’ most important investment priorities were, compared with what investors themselves said.

Advisers thought their clients prioritised ISA and pension planning, diversification, and low volatility, before high growth.

Yet investors themselves put high growth above ISA and pension planning when asked to rank their three most important investment priorities.

The gap was also seen in what advisers say they recommend to clients when it comes to tax-efficient products, specifically those that invest in early-stage UK companies.

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