The majority of Hong Kong investors do not have a financial plan despite their worries over inflation, a new survey by St James’s Place Wealth Management Asia (SJP) found.
Although more than half (52%) of the respondents said they are worried about the rising living costs, only 29% of them consider inflation in their financial planning.
“We think now is more important than ever that they start to make financial planning,” said Oliver Wickham, head of business at SJP Hong Kong and Shanghai.
“The Covid pandemic has created new levels of uncertainty, but planning shouldn’t be something used only in tough times. Having a financial plan and receiving professional advice is absolutely crucial to keep investors up to date with their options.”
The survey also found that two in five of the respondents are not comfortable with their current saving levels, and only a quarter of Hong Kong investors would seek professional advice before making any financial decisions.
“Currently, Hong Kong investors trust their family members more than anybody else. They are getting advice from their family members and may not necessarily understand that the advice from a family member is different from that obtained from a qualified financial planner,” said Wickham.
He acknowledged that the Hong Kong financial advisory market hasn’t had a good reputation as it was very commission-driven historically.
But Wickham believes the industry has gone through a series of regulatory changes during the last decade to provide quality advice to clients.
According to the survey, 47% of the respondents believe they could have had a larger return on their investments in the past five years if they had engaged a financial adviser.
Currently, 41% of investors in Hong Kong engage a professional adviser to manage their investments, and 88% of those found the advice useful.
The UK-based wealth manager conducted an online survey with more than 1000 investors in Hong Kong aged between 25 and 54 at the beginning of 2021.
The respondents earn a household income of between HK$400,000 ($51,355) to HK$1,500,000 annually and all held some type of personal investments in stocks, property, shares, or funds.
In a similar survey last year, St James’s Place found 41% of Singaporeans have no financial plan.