Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Singaporeans found to be conservative investors, heavy credit users

SINGAPORE: Singaporean investors are conservative compared to many of their Asia Pacific counterparts, a study of online consumers by Nielsen has found.

The study polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries within the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and North America.

According to the study, 34 per cent Singaporean investors consider themselves "conservative" and were willing to accept only minor fluctuations, defined as plus or minus 5 per cent potential principal losses, on their investment portfolio value.

This is contrast to the average of 26 per cent for investors in Asia Pacific.

The results also showed that 37 per cent of Singaporeans owned investment products, much lower than the Asia Pacific average of 48 per cent.

Out of those who invested, however, more Singaporeans said they sought financial planners for advice.

24 per cent of Singaporeans consulted a financial planner, higher than the Asia Pacific average of 21 per cent. This is also ahead of investors from Malaysia, Australia, Japan at 19 per cent, 16 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

Three quarters of Singaporean investors surveyed also considered stocks as their top investment pick, compared to investment options like mutual funds/unit trusts (49 per cent), strucutured investment products (35 per cent), and foreign currencies, bonds, precious metals and derivatives (30 per cent).

When it comes to making investment transactions, Singaporeans rely heavily on online banking and branch banking facilities, at 61 per cent each.

27 per cent of respondents also said they relied on mobile phones for investment transactions.

Meanwhile, Singaporeans are amongst the world's heaviest users of credit cards.

62 per cent of respondents said they used credit cards as a common payment method, placing Singapore eight in the world ahead of countries such as Australia (54 per cent), Thailand (50 per cent) and Malaysia (39 per cent).

Singaporeans however, were highly prudent with their credit card usage, with 80 per cent paying their monthly balances in full compared to the global average of 68 per cent.

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