Over 80% of investors here remain invested despite Covid-19: Poll

Half of them say pandemic has negatively affected their financial health; 4 Asian markets surveyed

A "large" proportion of Singapore respondents plan to raise their asset allocation.
A "large" proportion of Singapore respondents plan to raise their asset allocation.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Over 80 per cent of Singapore investors remain invested in the markets even as the value of their portfolios shrank due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

This is according to a survey released yesterday by investment management firm Fidelity International of 2,434 investors across four Asian markets - Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Japan - conducted between July 29 and Aug 3.

The survey found that Singapore had the highest proportion of investors who said that the value of their investments has been reduced by "a lot" as a result of Covid-19.

Nonetheless, 86 per cent of Singapore respondents were still invested in their portfolios - the highest proportion among the four markets. On average, about 82 per cent of all respondents in the four markets said they remained invested.

Four out of 10 in Singapore have kept their portfolios unchanged since the pandemic started, while about 22 per cent have increased their investments. Nearly a quarter rebalanced their allocation.

A "large" proportion of Singapore respondents also plan to raise their asset allocation as a result of the pandemic, especially in equities and unit trusts or investment funds, Fidelity said.

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

Only 3 per cent of Singapore respondents had redeemed all their investments since the onset of the outbreak. About 8 per cent redeemed some of their investments.

In terms of the pandemic's impact on sentiment, investors in the city-state were the most anxious about money, out of the four markets polled. Two-thirds said they felt more worried about money amid the outbreak.

About half of them also said Covid-19 has negatively affected their financial well-being.

However, Singapore respondents were also the most confident about their savings sufficiency.

To minimise the financial impact of the pandemic, nearly six in 10 investors in Singapore reduced their discretionary spending, while 47 per cent cut the amount of money saved.

 
 
 
  • 86% 

    Percentage of Singapore respondents who are still invested in their portfolios - the highest proportion among Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Japan.

    40% 

    Percentage of Singapore respondents who have kept their portfolios unchanged since the pandemic began.

    22% 

    Percentage of Singapore respondents who have increased their investments since the outbreak began.

    3% 

    Percentage of Singapore respondents who had redeemed all their investments since the onset of the outbreak.

 

Retirement planning was one of the biggest worries as a result of Covid-19.

One in four Singapore respondents expected to delay their retirement and extend their full-time career, while one in five expected to have a phased retirement by working part-time for longer.

Fidelity International head of South-east Asia and Middle East Lawrence Hanson said the survey findings showed that a majority of investors are taking a long-term view of 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.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2020, with the headline 'Over 80% of investors here remain invested despite Covid-19: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe