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One in 8 Singapore investors see volatility as risk to investment: poll

FEARS over sluggish global growth, geopolitical uncertainty and trade tensions may have sent markets seesawing for most of the year, but Singapore investors stand unfazed by the volatility. Just about one in eight investors view it negatively as a risk to investments, going by Legg Mason Global Asset Management's yearly Global Investment Survey, released on Tuesday. 

What's more, Singapore investors see buying opportunities amid volatility - despite citing inflation, economic instability around the world and trade wars between countries as their top three concerns - with 40 per cent saying they would invest more in the face of increased market volatility. 

As to where these opportunities can be found, Singapore investors are most optimistic about opportunities at home. According to the survey, 49 per cent of them are confident about the prospects of the Singapore market, compared to an average of 20 per cent of investors across Asia who are optimistic about the investment outlook for Singapore. 

Singapore investors are also bullish on the local equity market, with close to 60 per cent expecting it to perform better in 2019.

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China and the US are the other markets Singapore investors are confident about, favoured by 44 per cent and 37 per cent of investors respectively.

"The headline issues globally, including the re-emergence of market volatility and continued uncertainty over how the trade war between the US and China will play out, are likely to continue to affect global markets", said Richard Gillham, head of the product specialist group at Legg Mason. 

"Against this backdrop, Singapore investors could consider managed volatility investment strategies to help manage downside risks while being positioned to participate in up markets as soon as possible."

Overall, Singaporeans remain largely long-term investors, with two-thirds investing mainly to retire financially comfortable; this is in line with the rest of Asia.

For the longer term, the majority of Singapore investors - 53 per cent, report being "quite or very confident" about having enough money to enjoy a comfortable life throughout their retirement.

The survey includes 16,810 investors in 17 markets worldwide, and looks at those who will be investing at least 10,000 euros (S$15,700) or the local equivalent - US$50,000, for those in the US only - in the next year and have made changes to their investments within the last five years. In Asia, 4,000 investors were surveyed across Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.