Malaysia has Highest Preference for Mutual Funds among ASEAN Countries

| Source: Borneo Post

Malaysian investors rank the highest in the Asean region for their strong affinity towards mutual funds or unit trust fund investments, according to the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (Manulife ISI).

The survey between mid-December last year and late January 2013, also showed the financial priority of most Malaysian investors was to ‘save for a rainy day’, while that of their regional counterparts was to save for retirement.

It also indicated that while Malaysian investors were the most optimistic in the region, they remained conservative, with a high preference towards cash as compared with more ‘risky’ investment vehicles like stocks and equities.

“Yet, there exists the concern that Malaysian investors who have a high affinity towards holding cash and fixed income, may see the value of their savings erode.

“This may result in low purchasing power in years to come in view of inflation,” said the survey.

Manulife Holding Bhd’s group chief executive officer, Mark O’Dell said Malaysian investors had a penchant for insurance products that provide a steady income stream, in addition to the investment in their own home and holding cash.

“Being cash-rich, they have the means to invest but need to tap into the other investment opportunities that the Malaysian market has to offer, and with a higher growth potential or capital appreciation,” he told reporters at a media briefing on the launch of the Manulife ISI here yesterday.

O’Dell said savings was the first step of any money management strategy, but investment management is also the key for Malaysians to make their money work for them.

“Thirty-three per cent of Malaysian investors have no plans to start retirement planning as they feel the balance held in their accounts would fund it,” he added.

He said, 92 per cent of Malaysians do not use the services of a financial planner.

“As Malaysian investors’ biggest investment is in insurance and their primary residence, it is not surprising that the majority do not use a professional advisor and feel they can manage their own investments,” he added.

Manulife’s Investor Sentiment Index is a proprietary survey measuring and tracking investors’ views across seven markets in the region on their attitudes towards key asset classes and investment vehicles.

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