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HK emerging affluent prefers savings to funds

Nearly half of Hong Kong's emerging affluent population makes use of savings as the preferred route to achieve financial goals, according to a survey by Standard Chartered Bank.

Although 54% of the 1,000 people surveyed said they invest in financial products to try to reach their financial goals, savings accounts are the favoured method for 45% of Hong Kong’s emerging affluent, followed by direct equity investments (26%).

By comparison, only 15% make use of fixed income investments and a mere 9% invest in mutual fund products, added the bank’s survey.

This could explain why 54% of respondents feel ‘far away from achieving their top financial goal’, according to the report. Around 56% believe financial education would help them reach their financial goals faster and 35% admit that friends and family are their top source of financial advice.

The bank defines Hong Kong’s emerging affluent as those having a gross monthly income of HK$20,000-HK$80,000 ($2,549-$10,197).

Embracing digital?

The survey noted that Hong Kong’s emerging affluent are embracing digital wealth management. Nearly half of them indicated they would invest in financial products online with assistance from an on-demand advisor, which compares with only 16% who would not.

In addition, 49% would accept a high level of risk for a high level of return when investing online, compared with 18% who would not.

“The study reveals that the emerging affluent consumers have clear financial goals,” Teddy Wong, regional head of segments and client journeys at Standard Chartered Bank, said in a statement.

“They are also digitally-savvy and believe technology holds the key to financial success. As they are embracing digital ways to control their finance and investment, there is growing appetite for online financial services and products.”

Part of the Mark Allen Group.