Public Interest in NISA Rising Ahead of Planned Expansion

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
An employee of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. explains the NISA investment program.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Public interest in Japan’s Nippon Individual Savings Account, or NISA, tax exemption scheme for small-lot investments is growing ahead of its planned expansion in January next year.

The expansion is aimed at encouraging ordinary people to manage their assets in preparation for an era of 100-year life expectancy. The tax-exempt investment limit will be raised by two to three times, and the tax-free period, currently up to 20 years, will be made indefinite.

Securities firms are taking advantage of the planned NISA expansion to hold related seminars, attracting audiences from a wide range of age groups. Matsui Securities Co. held a seminar in Tokyo late last month with a popular YouTuber as a lecturer, drawing about 200 people.

“My bank deposit hasn’t grown at all for many decades,” a woman in her 50s said. “I’m thinking about investing to pay for my child’s education.”

Meanwhile, some people are overwhelmed by the myriad investment trusts offered by asset management firms. A man in his 60s who attended the Matsui Securities seminar complained, “I can’t research them all.”

It is up to securities firms to offer products that match investors’ needs and risk tolerance.

Through the NISA expansion, the Japanese government hopes to encourage people to shift their assets from cash and savings, which accounted for a majority of the roughly ¥2,043 trillion in individual financial assets in Japan as of the end of March, to stocks and investment trusts, so that they can benefit from rises in stock prices as a result of economic growth.