Investor Sentiment Towards Singapore Plunges

Singapore Central Business District

The latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index survey has revealed that although Singapore investors are diligent in saving and tracking their expenses, one in three hold debt excluding mortgages and the majority regret not planning their investments better.

Singapore investors generally performed better in saving and tracking their expenses than their regional counterparts, with saving for retirement cited as their top financial priority. Despite this, Singapore has the third highest proportion of investors in debt across the eight Asian markets surveyed. In addition, more male investors are in debt compared to female investors with a significantly higher average debt amount

When asked about their reasons for regret, investors cited not being more proactive in reviewing their portfolio, and holding too much money in cash instead of making more investments as the top factors, the survey revealed.

Negative towards home and China markets

Singapore investors are feeling the effects of the lacklustre global economy, with sentiment towards the Singapore market dropping eight points in Q4 2015 to 21 points.

Investor sentiment towards China also plummeted by 19 points, reaching an all-time low of 5 points since this was first measured in Q2 2014. Most investors appear to be adopting a wait and see approach towards China, with close to half (48 percent) saying they would avoid investing further in China until its economy improves, and 43 percent unsure about what is the best strategy for investing in China.

«As Singapore’s top trading partner and one of the country’s key investors, any movement in China is bound to affect our economy. It is times like these that highlight the importance of building and having a diversified portfolio invested in different geographies and asset classes to help ride through today's volatile market.» said Wendy Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Asset Management (Singapore).

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