- The Straits Times
What sets the aspiring rich in Singapore apart from the actually wealthy? The answer could be where they put their savings, a new report by Standard Chartered has found.
The bank’s Wealth Expectancy Report 2019, published on Thursday (Dec 19) surveyed 10,000 emerging affluent, affluent, and high-net-worth individuals across Asia – including 976 from Singapore – on their saving and investment habits.
For Singapore, it defined the emerging affluent as those with monthly incomes between S$5,000 and S$10,600.
Affluent individuals were those with monthly incomes above S$10,600, while high-net-worth individuals were those with assets worth S$1.3 million and above.
In Singapore, the top financial goal for the emerging affluent was saving for retirement, while the affluent prioritised saving for their children’s education and high-net-worth individuals prioritised property investments.
Over 70 per cent of Singapore’s emerging affluent used savings accounts to do so, with just over 20 per cent using real estate investment trusts (Reits).
Meanwhile, more affluent and high-net-worth individuals parked their savings in equities and Reits – a move that could have helped them grow their wealth faster, the report said.
It also found that around 40 per cent of people in these two groups used digital investment tools and online investment portfolios, compared to about one-quarter of the emerging affluent.
Said Standard Chartered’s Singapore head of retail banking, Dwaipayan Sadhu: “This study shows that many are choosing savings accounts to grow their wealth, which affords capital protection and liquidity at the expense of returns once inflation has been factored in.”
According to the bank’s predictions, all three groups of respondents were likely to have insufficient retirement savings to maintain their lifestyles, despite their affluence.
Based on a projected life expectancy of 91 years, the report estimated that the Singapore respondents would have incomes of about S$9,000 a month during retirement, compared to their average current monthly spending of around S$17,000.