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Schroders Global Investor Study 2021: Increased Focus on Investments & Personal Finance for Investors in Southeast Asia

22nd September 2021 | Singapore

Schroders, one of the world’s leading asset manager with more than $785 billion assets, has released the Global Investor Study 2021 on 24,000 individuals worldwide with key findings including increased focus on investments and personal finance for investors in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand & Indonesia.  Investors globally are also more likely to monitor their investments at least once a month (2021: 82%, 2019: 77%).  The Schroders Global Investor Study 2021 was conducted between March 2021 to August 2021, at a time where many parts of Southeast Asia were largely closed-off, battling fluctuating lockdown cycles and slow vaccine rollouts. This is reflected in the relatively more cautious outlooks from investors in the region. 

” Schroders Global Investor Study 2021: Increased Focus on Investments & Personal Finance for Investors in Southeast Asia “


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Schroders Global Investor Study 2021: Southeast Asia Investors

Singapore | Leading financial centre in Asia
  • A greater focus on financial wellbeing and savings are set to be amongst the lasting legacies of the pandemic for Southeast Asian investors.
  • Vast majority of investors have spent more time considering their financial wellbeing and reorganising their personal finances since the onset of the pandemic. 
  • Geographically, this change was most pronounced in Asia, with investors in Thailand (91%), Indonesia (88%) and India (88%) sharing this view strongly. Investors in Malaysia (85%) and Singapore (81%) also ranked highly. 
  • Investors globally are now more likely to check their investments at least once a month (82%), compared with 77% of investors in 2019. 
  • Over half of Southeast Asian investors (52%) will likely save more once the Covid-19 situation normalises. This is higher than the global average of 46%. 


Increased Vigilance towards Retirement and Savings 

This more measured approach also flowed through investors’ retirement outlooks, with 65% of retirees in Southeast Asia (versus 58% of retirees globally) now more conservative in terms of spending their retirement savings, while 75% (versus 67% globally) of those yet to retire now want to save more towards their retirement. 

Over the course of 2020, almost a third (32%) of investors globally saved more than they had planned to. In Southeast Asia, 26% of investors had saved more than planned to, while 56% saved as much as they had planned. Unsurprisingly, this was driven by decreased spending on non- essentials, such as eating out, travel and leisure. 

Of the investors who were unable to save as much as planned, 46% of people globally (57% in Southeast Asia) cited reduced salaries/work income as the key reason, which reflects the great challenges caused by the pandemic. 


Cause for Optimism 

Despite the challenges, investor confidence has soared to its highest level since the study began in 2016, with average annual return expectations over the next five years expected to be 11.3%, an increase on 10.9% predicted a year ago.  This also mirrors the growing confidence of institutional investors recorded by Schroders in its corresponding Institutional Investor Study.

Investors from Southeast Asia were amongst the most bullish, with investors expecting annual total returns of 12.8% over the next five years, followed by investors in the Americas (12.5%), broader Asia (12.3%) and slightly more cautious investors in Europe with expectations of 9.7%. Furthermore, investment confidence is being driven by investors who class themselves to be ‘expert/advanced’ with return expectations of 12.8%, compared with 8.9% for self-purported ‘beginner/rudimentary’ investors. 

Southeast Asian investors have also become more attentive to new investment opportunities that are reshaping the world. Over the past year, 63% of investors placed their money in stocks and funds invested in internet and tech companies, while 55% invested in crypto-currencies. Nevertheless, safe haven investments also gained traction, with 60% of investors in the region investing in gold, silver and precious metals. 


Stuart Podmore, Schroders Behavioural Investment Insights Specialist
Stuart Podmore, Schroders Behavioural Investment Insights Specialist:

“The pandemic has heightened our sense of uncertainty and challenged our ability to process risk, making many of us feel more anxious and out of control. These sentiments can clearly be seen in the results of our survey, with investors increasingly focused on saving, monitoring retirement contributions and checking their investments more frequently. 

Despite the huge challenges we have all encountered, it is encouraging to see that the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for promoting a stronger focus on generic financial planning and wellbeing. At the same time, we need to exert caution over the investment returns we expect over the coming five years, as the outlook shared by many investors – and in particular those who believe themselves to be experts – is exceptionally optimistic.  The past 18 months have taught us that the future remains difficult to predict and a measured, consistent and patient approach to investing, focused on long term objectives and probable outcomes, is likely to stand investors in better stead.”


Highlights from the Singapore survey can be viewed here, while the Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand survey highlights are in the attached infographics. To find out more about the Schroders Global Investor Study 2021, please click here.


Schroders commissioned an independent online survey of over 23,950 people who invest from 33 locations around the globe. This spanned countries across Europe, Asia, the Americas and more. Thirty-two countries were surveyed between 16th March – 07th May 2021 whilst Malaysia was surveyed between 5th July – 2nd August 2021. This research defines people as those who will be investing at least €10,000 (or the equivalent) in the next 12 months and who have made changes to their investments within the last 10 years. Due to this threshold, Schroders acknowledges that this group and therefore the research findings are not representative of everyone’s experience of the pandemic. 




About Schroders

As a global active asset manager, the way we direct capital not only shapes the financial returns we achieve for our clients but also the impact that the companies in which we invest on their behalf might have on society. The relationship between these two outcomes has rapidly evolved as we see a fundamental shift in how companies are viewed and valued. Understanding the impact that they can have on society and the planet is crucial in assessing their ability to deliver risk-adjusted profits.

Our ongoing success is built on a history of experience and expertise, whereby we partner with our clients to construct innovative products and solutions across our five business areas consisting of Private Assets & Alternatives, Solutions, Mutual Funds, Institutional and Wealth Management and invest in a wide range of assets and geographies. By combining our commitment to active management and focus on sustainability, our strategic capabilities are designed to deliver positive outcomes for our clients.

We are responsible for £574.4 billion (€641.7 billion/$785.1 billion 31/12/20) assets of our clients, managed locally by 42 investment teams worldwide. As a global business with over 5,500 talented staff across 35 locations, we are able to stay close to our clients and understand their needs. We have over 200 years of experience in investment and innovation


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