Covid-19 increases investor worries, but majority take long view
China considered best future investment opportunity, followed by US, Japan
25 Sep 2020 | The Asset

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly increased the worries of Asian investors, with money, health and retirement all high on their list of concerns, a recent survey reveals.

The survey, conducted by Fidelity International, looked at investor sentiment across Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan, and found that the pandemic had increased money worries for more than half of investors (57%), with almost half (48%) saying it had negatively impacted their financial health, and four in 10 their mental wellbeing. 

In addition, the majority of investors across the four markets (65%) say they have insufficient savings to achieve their future goals - with the biggest proportion in mainland China (75%), followed by Japan (71%). A further 44% of investors say they worry that Covid-19 has delayed their ability to fund retirement, with one in five (20%) saying they will have to reduce their expenditure in retirement as a result of the pandemic.

“The pandemic has increased pressure on savings, and this has led to more anxiety about personal finances,” says Lawrence Hanson, head of Southeast Asia and Middle East at Fidelity International. “In order to manage this, our research shows that investors are reducing the amount they spend and save.”

About half of the respondents across the region have already reduced their discretionary spending, while over half of investors in Singapore (57%), Hong Kong (50%) and Japan (68%) have also reduced spending on essential items and daily necessities.

“While it is clear that investors are feeling the pressure and adjusting their financial habits to deal with the pandemic, one green shoot is that the majority of respondents are taking a long-term view on the market and their finances,” Lawrence adds. “Throughout the pandemic, most investors (82%) across the region said they remained invested in their portfolios, with some saying they either rebalanced their portfolio or invested more capital.”

When looking to the future, investors across the four markets differed greatly in their outlook for the economy and expected recovery, but a large number across the region (36%) were united in their view that the China market presented the greatest investment opportunity in the future — with the US (23%) and Japan (14%) coming in second and third. 

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