Friday, 23 Oct 2020

Over 8 in 10 of Singapore investors remain invested in markets amid Covid-19: Survey

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Over 80 per cent of Singapore investors remain invested in the markets throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, with over a fifth investing more, according to a survey by Fidelity International published on Thursday (Sept 24).

Fidelity’s survey polled 2,434 investors in Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Japan on their investing behaviour amid the pandemic, with 82 per cent of all respondents saying they remain invested in their portfolios.

At 86 per cent, the proportion of Singapore respondents who remain invested in their portfolios was the highest among the four markets.

The survey found that 22 per cent of Singapore respondents had increased their investments, while 24 per cent had rebalanced their portfolio allocation.

It added that a “large” proportion of Singapore respondents plan to raise their asset allocation as a result of the pandemic. Within this group, 40 per cent will allocate to equities while 25 per cent plan to invest in unit trusts or investment funds.

For those choosing to invest more in unit trusts or funds, the most popular asset class will be equities, followed by real estate and fixed income.

Meanwhile, 3 per cent of Singapore respondents said they had redeemed all their investments, while 8 per cent said they had redeemed some of their investments.

Among the four markets, Singaporean respondents were the most anxious about money as a result of the pandemic, Fidelity’s survey found. It said 36 per cent of respondents claimed the value of their investments had come down by “a lot”. This proportion was significantly higher than the other three markets.

Close to 60 per cent of the Singapore respondents said they had reduced discretionary spending and spending on essential items, while 47 per cent said they had cut the amount of money saved.

Nearly 60 per cent of the Singapore respondents also had concerns about retirement planning, the highest among the four markets.

A quarter of these respondents said they expect to delay retirement and extend their full-time career as a result of Covid-19, while a fifth said they expect to phase in their retirement by working part-time for longer.

Fidelity International head of South-east Asia and Middle East Lawrence Hanson said the survey showed a majority of the respondents are taking a long-term view on the market and their finances.

“This is positive, because it tells us that in general, investors are not making knee-jerk reactions and drawing down on investments. They would rather adjust daily spending habits than sacrifice long-term portfolio gains,” he added.

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