83% of affluent Malaysians set new life goals post-pandemic – Stanchart

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

KUALA LUMPUR – Most affluent Malaysians – 83 per cent – have set new life goals post-pandemic to become more future-focused when resetting their priorities, according to Standard Chartered’s (StanChart) latest survey on affluent consumers.

In its Wealth Expectancy Report 2021, the bank said nearly half (48 per cent) of the Malaysians surveyed have set the goal to have a more comfortable retirement, while 43 per cent have set the goal to improve their health. 

“To meet their new goals, the affluent need new strategies to grow their wealth, which often involves more proactive investment rather than just saving cash.

“However, their current ‘confidence gap’ has made many increasingly averse to risk, potentially stopping them from putting their money to work through investing or making use of digital tools that simplify wealth management,” it said in a statement today.

The online survey was conducted in 12 markets in June and July 2021. In Malaysia, there were 1,037 emerging affluent, affluent, and high net worth (HNW) respondents.

StanChart said for the affluent across the wealth spectrum in Malaysia, the three most common factors impacting their confidence were volatility in financial markets (36 per cent), fear of poor returns on investments (32 per cent), and hesitancy or uncertainty around committing to investment decisions (27 per cent).

The report also indicated that a late start to retirement planning, combined with the pandemic-induced ‘confidence gap’, leaves a significant proportion of affluent consumers at risk of a shortfall for their retirement.

“In Malaysia, 28 per cent of people do not currently save or invest for retirement. For those that do, investment income (55 per cent) and cash savings/deposits (45 per cent) are the most common expected sources of income in retirement.

“At the same time, 50 per cent plan to retire before the age of 65; and in the last 18 months, 19 per cent have set the new financial goal of retiring earlier,” it said, adding that this showed a disconnect between current actions and future expectations.