Not surprisingly, investors have examined how well their money fared more frequently since the COVID-19 crisis broke out, and certainly did so in Southeast Asia.
A global study of almost 24,000 investors around the world finds that 82 per cent of them are likely to check their holdings at least once a month, up from 77 per cent of those who took a monthly read in 2019 before the pandemic struck.
Within Southeast Asia - Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia - the survey from Schroders found that the increase in monthly checks on wealth was particularly pronounced. Investors in Thailand (91 per cent), Indonesia (88 per cent) and India (88 per cent) shared this view strongly. Investors in Malaysia (85 per cent) and Singapore (81 per cent) also ranked highly.
The results suggest, perhaps unsurprisingly after the past 18 months, that the spike in market volatility, the pandemic’s impact, and geopolitical worries, have prompted people to examine their wealth more frequently.
Some 32 countries were surveyed between 16 March and 7 May while Malaysia was surveyed between 5 July and 2 August 2021. This research defines respondents as those who will be investing at least €10,000 (or the equivalent) in the next 12 months and who have made changes to their investments within the last 10 years.
More than half of Southeast Asian investors (52 per cent) are likely to save more once the COVID-19 situation normalises. This is higher than the global average of 46 per cent, Schroders said.
Fieldwork for the survey was carried out when many parts of Southeast Asia were largely closed-off, battling fluctuating lockdown cycles and slow vaccine rollouts. This is reflected in the relatively more cautious outlooks from investors in the region, Schroders continued.
“The pandemic has heightened our sense of uncertainty and challenged our ability to process risk, making many of us feel more anxious and out of control. These sentiments can clearly be seen in the results of our survey, with investors increasingly focused on saving, monitoring retirement contributions and checking their investments more frequently,” Stuart Podmore, a behavioural investment insights specialist at Schroders, said.
“Despite the huge challenges we have all encountered, it is encouraging to see that the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for promoting a stronger focus on generic financial planning and wellbeing. At the same time, we need to exert caution over the investment returns we expect over the coming five years, as the outlook shared by many investors – and in particular those who believe themselves to be experts - is exceptionally optimistic,” Podmore added.