Singapore investors remain active, and excited about AI and structural themes

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A survey by Fullerton Fund Management found that 97% were actively invested in the past 12 months, with the majority favouring a mix of safe haven assets and equities 

SINGAPORE, April 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A survey by Fullerton Fund Management has revealed that 97% of Singapore investors remained active in their investment activities in the past 12 months despite facing macro-economic headwinds and uncertain market conditions. Reasons cited for being invested include combating cost of living pressures, wanting to put excess funds to work, and seeking portfolio diversification.

Fullerton’s study “Rethinking Investing: Investors’ attitudes and behaviours in an evolving landscape” shines a light on how sentiment and expectations have shifted among investors, what the core investment aspirations of Singaporean investors are, and how investors believe they can achieve their investment goals. The study was based on a survey of 500 investors with at least 3 years of investing experience and investable assets of at least SGD40,000.

Risk appetite and return expectations tied to financial priorities

Overall, most investors appeared willing to take low to moderate levels of risk, and nearly half the survey respondents cited an annual target return between 5-7% per annum from their investments. Their top investment goals were planning for retirement (70%) building wealth over time (67%) and creating regular income streams (60%). 

According to the survey findings, three-in-four investors have maintained and even raised their risk levels over the past twelve months. They see the global environment turning incrementally positive – with many staying committed to their investment objectives. This positive disposition is more pronounced amongst younger investors, with 46% of investors aged 21-30 years old having generally increased risk in their portfolios.

A mix of safe haven assets and equities with a home bias favoured by investors

Almost 80% of survey respondents articulated their preference for a mix of safe haven assets (savings account, fixed deposits, government bonds) as well as equities in the past 12 months. This could be attributed to investors wanting exposure to intrinsically stable and historically attractive cash yields, while waiting to deploy capital into attractive high risk value opportunities.

A deeper look into the preferred asset classes by age group revealed that investors had a penchant for assets in local currency. Fixed deposits, government bonds and Singapore equities are perceived as the three best assets to invest in right now – with the younger demographic more bullish on equities than their senior counterparts. The survey also highlights a discernible inclination among respondents over 40 towards Singapore stocks, demonstrating a “home bias”, whereas their younger counterparts aged 40 years and below exhibited a higher inclination towards global stocks. This disparity may suggest a trend where younger investors lean towards growth-centric investment strategies, while older investors gravitate towards familiar markets that are perceived as more stable or valued for their dividend yields.

Strong interest in non-traditional assets and emerging structural themes

The results also highlight a rising inclination by investors to gain exposure to non-traditional assets and emerging structural themes. On the latter, about four-in-five (79%) investors wanted exposure to sectors that align with the broader direction of the future global economy, in areas such as biomedicine, artificial intelligence, and sustainable energy.

Implications of survey findings for investors

The key findings in this survey shed light on investor’s changing attitudes and behaviours and have significant implications for their portfolio planning.

“Our survey findings indicate that investors in Singapore demonstrate an openness and willingness to stay invested to create wealth and achieve financial security. As capital markets evolve, investors need to ensure that their portfolio allocations are calibrated to meet their long-term investment objectives. Portfolios should be diversified to withstand market volatility as well as maximise long-term growth opportunities,” said Pang Kin Weng, Head of Multi-Asset at Fullerton Fund Management.

The full report can be found at: https://www.fullertonfund.com/rethinking-investing/

About the survey

An online survey of 500 Singaporeans was undertaken in late 2023. All were active investors with at least 3 years of investing experience and investable assets of at least SGD 40,000. Respondents were carefully selected to ensure a balanced and representative cross-section of Singapore investors across age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, income, and employment status.

About Fullerton Fund Management

Fullerton Fund Management Company Ltd (“Fullerton”) is an active investment specialist, focused on optimising investment outcomes and enhancing investor experience.

We help clients, including government entities, sovereign wealth funds, pension plans, insurance companies, private wealth and retail, from the region and beyond, to achieve their investment objectives through our suite of solutions. Our expertise encompasses equities, fixed income, multi-asset, alternatives and treasury management, across public and private markets.

As an active manager, we place strong emphasis on performance, risk management and investment insights. Incorporated in 2003, Fullerton is headquartered in Singapore, and has associated offices in Shanghai, Jakarta and Brunei. Fullerton is part of a multi-asset management group, Seviora, a holding company established by Temasek. Income Insurance, one of Singapore’s leading insurers, is a minority shareholder of Fullerton.

For more information, please visit www.fullertonfund.com

This survey is commissioned by Fullerton Fund Management and conducted by Blackbox Research.

About Blackbox

Blackbox provides clients with decision science solutions, offering consumer, business, and community-wide perspectives on contemporary problems and challenges. It gathers data, constructs advanced analytical approaches, and develops a deep understanding of Asia and its diverse people – monitoring emerging trends both regionally and globally with the main aim of signalling potential changes of significance before they occur.

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