MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

61% of wealthy Singaporeans are cautious investors

Survey says these high net worth individuals are more concerned with preventing bad things happening than ensuring that good things happen.

However, nearly half of Singaporean HNWI respondents (44%) are also willing to bear higher levels of risk in order to achieve higher returns.

The latest report in the Barclays Wealth Insights series, titled Risk and Rules: The Role of Control in Financial Decision Making, noted as well that almost half (49%) of Singaporean high net worth individuals wish they had more self-control over their financial behaviour. The figure is slightly higher than the global figure, where 41% of HNWIs wish they had more self-control.

Globally, respondents in Asia-Pacific have the greatest desire for more financial discipline, as highlighted by markets such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. In contrast, developed markets show less of a desire for more self-control over financial behaviour, as illustrated by respondents in Spain, Australia and the US.

The report shows that investors in Singapore use many types of strategies to control their financial decision making processes. The most popular rules include using cooling-off periods (98%) and setting financial deadlines (97%).

Barclays Wealth said this approach can be attributed to Singaporean HNWIs wanting to ensure wealth for future generations, as highlighted in the twelfth volume of the Barclays Wealth Insights series The Age Illusion. This found that 73% of Singaporean HNWIs felt financially responsible for their children – the highest in Asia-Pacific.

Peter Brooks, Behavioural Finance Analyst, Asia Pacific at Barclays Wealth, said, “These findings reflect the fact that Singaporean HNWIs may let their emotions influence their investment decision making, because of a deep sense of family. Even though local investors historically focus on careful planning, they should not shy away from seeking financial counsel.”

The report is based on a global survey of more than 2,000 HNWIs, including 500 respondents from Asia Pacific, 100 of whom are from Singapore.

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