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Most Singapore investors stay invested in their portfolios throughout pandemic: poll

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Over 80 per cent of Singapore investors remain invested in the markets throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, with over a fifth investing more, according to a survey by Fidelity International published on Thursday.

OVER 80 per cent of Singapore investors remained invested in the markets, even as the value of their investments has fallen due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey by Fidelity International published on Thursday.

The investment management firm polled 2,434 investors in Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Japan from July 29 to Aug 3.

Across all four markets, investments were hit hard by the pandemic. Singapore had the highest proportion (36 per cent) who said that the value of their investments shrank by "a lot" as a result of Covid-19.

Nonetheless, 86 per cent of Singapore respondents were still invested in their portfolios - the highest proportion among the four markets. On average, about 82 per cent of all respondents in the four markets said they remained invested.

Four out of 10 in Singapore kept their portfolios unchanged since the pandemic started, while about 22 per cent increased their investments and nearly a quarter rebalanced their allocation.

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Moreover, a "large" proportion of Singapore respondents plan to raise their asset allocation as a result of the pandemic, especially in equities and unit trusts or investment funds, Fidelity said. For those choosing to invest more in unit trusts or funds, the most popular asset class will be equities, followed by real estate and fixed income.

Only 3 per cent of Singapore respondents had redeemed all their investments since the onset of the outbreak. About 8 per cent redeemed some of their investments.

In terms of the pandemic's impact on sentiment, the city-state's investors were the most anxious about money, out of the four markets polled, with two-thirds reporting increased money worries since the outbreak started.

About half of also said Covid-19 negatively affected their financial wellbeing.

However, Singapore respondents were also the most confident about their savings sufficiency.

To minimise the financial impact of the pandemic, nearly six in 10 investors in Singapore reduced their discretionary spending, while 47 per cent cut the amount of money saved.

Retirement planning was one of the biggest worries as a result of Covid-19.

One in four Singapore respondents expected to delay their retirement and extend their full-time career, while one in five expected to have a phased retrement by working part-time for longer.

Fidelity International head of South-east Asia and Middle East Lawrence Hanson said the survey findings showed that a majority of investors are taking a long-term view on the market and their finances.

"This is positive, because it tells us that in general, investors are not making knee-jerk reactions and drawing down on investments. They would rather adjust daily spending habits than sacrifice long-term portfolio gains," he added.

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