Most affluent individuals in India have reset their life goals following the pandemic, but the coronavirus-induced confidence gap is preventing them from taking the necessary actions to achieve their new goals, says a Standard Chartered survey.
According to the Wealth Expectancy Report 2021, in India, 94 per cent have reset their life goals post-pandemic and for 48 per cent of the respondents, COVID-19 has diminished their confidence in their finances.
On behalf of Standard Chartered, Portland Communications conducted a 20-minute online survey of 15,649 emerging affluent, affluent, and HNW (high net-worth)respondents across 12 markets between June 30 and July 26, 2021.
"The report reveals that nearly half of the respondents feel less confident about their finances despite having taken some action related to it in the last year. Professional assistance can help consumers address this lack of confidence," said Samrat Khosla, Managing Director and Head of Wealth, Standard Chartered Bank, India.
As per the report, the pandemic has prompted the affluent in India to become more future-focused when resetting their priorities.
Nearly a half (42 per cent) of people have set the goal 'to improve their health' followed by 39 per cent of people setting the goal 'to be financially prepared for major life changes (having a child/moving abroad)' and 37 per cent 'to set aside more for my children's future (education or financial support).
The survey further said that the emerging affluent have disproportionately suffered a loss of confidence, with half (50 per cent) reporting less confidence compared with 41 per cent of HNW individuals.
For the affluent across the wealth spectrum in India, the three most common barriers to pursuing their financial goals were 'volatility in financial markets' (30 per cent), 'insufficient information about specific investment opportunities' (28 per cent) and 'the practical difficulties in shifting investment strategies' (28 per cent).
"The recent pandemic has upended the sense of security for people, not just related to physical well-being but financial well-being as well," said Nakul Jain, Managing Director, Affluent Clients and Deposits, Standard Chartered Bank, India.
Jain further added that "there is a clear need to have a focused proactive investment strategy while balancing risk".
The survey further said that a pro-active approach can help the affluent regain control.
Globally, almost all (94 per cent) of investors who had tried more than five new investments or investment strategies reported being happy with their finances, it said.
Moreover, 27 per cent of investors when asked said they 'pursued new strategies to make the most of the stock market (short-term trading)', followed by 'invested in private markets (private equity, private debt)'.
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