Hongkongers more financially astute than global peers
They continue to invest during Covid-19 to seek profit from market volatility, survey finds
10 Nov 2020 | The Asset

Hong Kong investors are more technologically savvy and financially astute than their global peers, a recent survey finds. And amid Covid-19, they continue to invest proactively as they seek to profit from market volatility.

According to the report on investor behaviours and attitudes by global funds network Calastone, 92% of respondents in the city have savings, well above the global average of 55%. Also, 87% of Hongkongers in the survey identify themselves as proactive, as against the global average of 55%.

The report is based on the responses of 1,800 respondents from Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The survey reveals that 62% of Hong Kong respondents are saving for retirement (global average is 44%), exceeding the 51% who are saving for holiday and travel (global average is 45%).

At least 73% of them invest in stocks, far exceeding the global average of 31%.  The proportion of those who do so in the UK is 22% and 23% in the US.

Only 29% of Hong Kong respondents say they don’t fully trust financial services, compared with the global average of 61%. The percentage is 68% for Australia and 75% for Germany.

Hongkongers are also willing adopters of technology and seem to be more advanced than their global peers in this area. Proactive investors show an appetite for greater transparency and reduced costs to enhance the investing experience – both of which are provided by technology.

About 51% of them say that more visibility on what’s happening with their money is the primary reason encouraging them to invest, and only 40% are satisfied with current cost levels.

Also, 84% consider the ability to manage funds via a digital platform as an important factor when investing. About 41% are interested in digital self-service options, and 41% say they are open to using an app to manage their investments.

The survey finds that 56% would buy investment products from a technology company, compared with only 44% of global respondents who would be comfortable to do so. About 84% of Hong Kong respondents say they would be more likely to invest if they could do so in smaller amounts, demonstrating a growing demand for micro-investing platforms.

Calastone says there is an opportunity for local fund managers to capitalize on these trends and digitalize their operations to meet shifting investor demands. Through innovation, managers can make the investment process more convenient, accessible and flexible for local investors.

The survey also finds that Hong Kong investors remain active despite the pandemic. About 41% of the proactive investors have actively invested in response to Covid-19 as they seek to profit from market volatility. At the same time, 71% say the virus outbreak has made them more worried about their financial future, which is another factor that encourage them to invest.

Now is the time to capitalize on Hongkongers’ increasing investment appetite as they seek to benefit from the market volatility, Calastone says.

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