Many Asians define themselves as “strivers,” meaning they live day-to-day, and want to save more money, a survey by Legg Mason Global Asset Management showed last month.
Fifty-four percent of respondents in Asia identified themselves as strivers, saying they struggle to save as much as they feel they should, higher than the global average of 49 percent, according to the survey conducted by Legg Mason, a fund manager with US$753.3 billion in assets under management.
However, Asians save more than their global peers, with 21 percent of respondents saying they are “gatherers,” or people who prefer to save money and invest for the future rather than live for today, the survey said.
As for “hedonists,” who live for today and do not think about the future, Asia showed a relatively low proportion at 11 percent.
Hong Kong has the lowest percentage of hedonists in the world at 9 percent, according to the survey.
The percentage of hedonists among Asian millennials were marginally higher at 13 percent, compared with baby boomers at 10 percent, it said.
When asked why they consider themselves hedonists, respondents in Hong Kong and Singapore said they do not think about the future, while hedonists in China said they prefer to spend what they earn and enjoy themselves.
Asian investors hold about 31 percent of their assets in cash, likely a holdover from the days of high interest rates in the region when cash was a shelter from market volatility, said Freeman Tsang (曾劭科), a Hong Kong-based director at Legg Mason.
“These attitudes might illustrate a misapprehension of current market conditions where cash holdings deliver little or no returns and risk losing value to inflation amid the low-interest environment,” Tseng said in a statement.
Nearly 40 percent of Taiwanese investors said they like simple investment tools, such as cash savings, and would be motivated by tax incentives to save and invest more.
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