Latest media releases

UBS Investor Watch 2017 reveals that millionaires believe that this is the most "unpredictable" period in history

Singapore Media Releases APAC


Singapore, 17 May 2017 – UBS Wealth Management conducted a global study of 2,842 millionaires across seven markets (Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland and United Kingdom) on their hopes, attitudes and investment focus for the year. This included 401 millionaires in Singapore.

82% of the millionaires across seven international markets believe that this is the "most unpredictable" period in history. This perception was attributed to a range of causes ranging from economic, political and media influence.

Interestingly, most of the millionaires are still optimistic about their future. Nearly 80% of Singapore millionaires are confident in their ability to assess financial risks, with over 90% who trust their own instincts when making financial decisions. On both areas, Singaporean millionaires are more confident than their Hong Kong and Japan counterparts.

Part of the reason for that confidence is the belief that they can find safe places to invest their money in an uncertain environment. 70% say the domestic market offers security for their money, while 75% say the same about physical assets and 77% about cash, despite the risks of holding these assets.

Eddie Gan, Managing Director and Market Head for Singapore, UBS Wealth Management said, "For over 50 years in Asia Pacific, UBS has been advising the wealthiest families and individuals on their business and investment needs. One of the key global survey findings indicate that while investors are focused on long term planning for their investments, they are often distracted by short-term events. This has resulted in short-term investment views, with people reacting to each event as uncertainty grows."

"At UBS, our CIO recommends that investors should have a diversified portfolio across various asset classes. As a wealth manager, our client promise is to protect and grow the wealth of our clients over the generations. We start by understanding our clients’ individual needs to provide them with personalized and comprehensive solutions, so that they and their families can have a peace of mind."

Other key survey result findings on Singaporean millionaires:

Entrepreneurs in Singapore

  • One key finding of the survey highlights a different mind-set among entrepreneurs. This is interesting for Asia, and especially Singapore as many of the wealthiest families and individuals are first and second hand generation.
  • The entrepreneurs in Singapore are more convinced that we live in an unpredictable age, but they are more confident about dealing with it.
  • In general, they believe that they have better work-life balance and the level of tax is fair.
  • They are also more focused on legacy for children and their grandchildren.

Role of democratic elections and strong leadership:

  • 85% of Singaporean millionaires believe that democratic elections contribute to stability. Switzerland has a similarly high number of wealth holders who believe that democratic elections contribute to economic and social stability.
  • Whilst democracy may be a source of stability, Singaporeans also say they favor strong leadership. Over 80% believe that stronger, more powerful leaders are most effective over the long term – the highest figure globally.

Role of media in dealing with uncertainty:

  • When dealing with uncertainty, 89% of Singaporean millionaires say that a wide variety of information sources help them make the best decisions. This is in contrast to global findings, as Singaporeans value a range of media sources more than in most other countries.
  • Singaporean millionaires value traditional media like newspapers and television, with nearly 80% indicating that they trust newspapers. In contrast, only around half trust social media or blogs.

Role of technology in making the world more predictable:

  • Millionaires in Singapore are among the most likely in the world to think that innovations like big data, artificial intelligence and robotics can make the world a better place.

UBS Wealth Management recommends three tactics to help deal with unpredictability:

  1. Focus on the long term. Avoid responding to short-term events or distractions. Cutting through this noise has never mattered more, because there has never been so much of it.
  2. Maintain a diversified portfolio. Exposure to a broad range of assets and geographies is essential. It helps to avoid the risks of domestic biases. Adding alternative investments can provide another source of protection against global and regional uncertainty while offering attractive yield opportunities in the mid to longer term.
  3. Be wary of overestimating the safety of cash. Cash may always be attractive, especially in an unpredictable world. But inflation erodes its value, meaning that cash assets can damage your financial health in the long term.

Notes to Editors:

About the research

* The cited research was conducted among 2,842 millionaires around the world with at least USD 1 million investable assets (excluding property). The global sample was split evenly across seven markets: UK, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. At least 400 were surveyed in each market, at least 30% of whom were women. The research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of UBS Wealth Management and was carried out between January 2017 and February 2017.

UBS Group AG

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Media contact

Julie Yeo

(t) +65 6495 5332

(m) +65 9673 4433


Adeline Lee

(t) +65 6495 8632

(m) +65 9753 2480