Singapore investors are more conservative and more pessimistic than investors elsewhere: Survey

SINGAPORE - Asset management company Legg Mason conducted a survey on the sentiments of global investors at the end of last year. Around 200 Singaporeans out of 4,208 people were surveyed across 20 countries. The Singapore investors surveyed had an average age of 48 and average investable assets of US$1.2 million.

Here are some of the findings:

1. Singapore investors are pretty pessimistic about their investments.

Global results show that 81 per cent are optimistic about their investments in 2015, yet the figure fell to 63 per cent for the Singapore investors surveyed. This lack of confidence may be the reason why only 77 per cent of Singapore investors are confident in their ability to manage their investments. This is lower than the 86 per cent globally.

2. Singapore investors do not achieve their expected investment returns, despite having one of the lowest expectations in Asia.

The average gap between actual and expected returns globally is 2.4 percentage points, yet Singapore investors said that they fell short of their expectations by a slightly larger gap - 2.5 percentage points. While the gap may not seem significantly larger, Singaporeans already have lower expectations than their Asian counterparts, with average expected returns of only 7.9 per cent compared to 10.6 per cent in China and Taiwan.

3. Singapore investors are not prepared for retirement.

Singaporeans reckon they are lagging behind their global peers when it comes to retirement preparation. A majority - 63 per cent - of Singapore investors responded that they are not making strong progress towards being independent in retirement, as opposed to 22 per cent globally. In fact, 45 per cent of respondents lack confidence that their CPF savings can meet their retirement goals.

4. Singapore investors have confidence in their government.

A majority of Singapore investors are not worried about the government not meeting their obligations, thus preventing them from living the lifestyle they want. 89 per cent of Singapore investors surveyed were not worried, the highest proportion in all the countries surveyed. The global average is 64 per cent, while only 46 per cent of respondents in countries like Belgium and Spain said that there were not worried.

5. Singapore investors would choose to take less risk in retrospect, even though they're already more conservative than investors in other countries.

Taking less risk was the option that received the third highest number of votes when Singapore investors were asked what they would do differently if they could invest all over again. But 77 per cent of Singapore investors already consider themselves conservative, compared to 59 per cent globally.