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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Retail investors more upbeat

Marked increase in confidence over outlook for next six months: survey
BOLSTERED by the strong market performance in the second half of last year, retail investors in Singapore have become more optimistic in their investment outlook for the next six months, a survey by JP Morgan Asset Management showed.

The JP Morgan Investor Confidence Index rose five points over the last six months to 106 in the latest survey conducted between Nov 21 and Dec 7 last year. This is a marked increase from a year ago, when the index was 86. Anything above 100 puts the investors sentiment in the optimistic zone.

Six questions were asked: whether the investor sees an increase in the Straits Times Index, an improvement in the Singapore and global economic environment, and in the investment market environment and atmosphere, an appreciation of his or her investment portfolio, and an increase in new funds into their investment.

When the first index was compiled back in December 2010, it was a high 134 points. But it plunged as the markets floundered in 2011.

 SINGAPORE: Singapore retail investors are optimistic about their investment outlook for the next six months, according to a survey released on Wednesday by J P Morgan Asset Management.

According to the report, the J P Morgan Investor Confidence Index increased by 5 points to 106 in the latest survey, conducted between November 21 to December 7 2012.

This is a marked increase from one year ago, where the index was 86.

The increased confidence was boosted by expectations of an improved global economic environment, with 42 per cent of respondents indicating that they are likely to increase their investments in the next six months.

"The latest results demonstrate that Singapore investor confidence continues to improve," said Mr Andrew Creber, Head of Singapore Business, J P Morgan Asset Management.

"This is no doubt influenced by the progress we have seen over the past six months, where the risk of a financial meltdown in Europe was largely reduced. The Chinese economy is steadily recovering. In the US, despite the ongoing political tug-of-war over public finance, the restoration of household balance sheets and an improvement in the housing market is taking place," he added.

Confidence is also returning to affluent investors.

Investors with investable assets of S$500,000 and above were markedly more optimistic than investors with less investable assets, hitting a confidence level of 119, an increase of 17 points from June 2012.

Meanwhile, mutual fund investors have shown an increasing preference for multi asset/balanced funds, with those surveyed increasing their weighted allocation up by 7 per cent to 47 per cent for their mutual fund portfolio.

"It is important for investors to remain diversified to maintain stability in their portfolios," said Mr Creber.

The J P Morgan Investor Confidence Index is derived from a scoring of investor responses to a series of questions on their outlook for the Straits Times Index (STI), local and global economic and investment environments, and appreciation in their investment portfolio.

An index level of 100 is neutral, while 200 is extremely optimistic while zero is extremely pessimistic.

- CNA/xq

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