Setting a new course

Rethinking health and wealth in a post-COVID world

Q2 2020

Amid the confinement of the pandemic—and facing threats to their lives and livelihoods—investors looked inward.

Most rediscovered the joy of family, the importance of feeling safe and secure, and the value of health.

Now, emerging from lockdowns and still grappling with COVID-19, investors find themselves in a world that may have changed forever.

The pandemic and its aftermath inspired investors to focus on the things that truly matter to them: spending more time with family, protecting loved ones and safeguarding their health. What’s more, many investors expect to change fundamental ways of living—traveling less, working remotely, decamping to new locations.

At the same time, the pandemic has impacted how investors think about their money. Globally, 70% were affected by the economic contraction and market volatility—one-quarter significantly so.

Millennials in particular were impacted financially. But despite their concerns—job security, declining income and potentially delayed retirement—Millennials are intent on making a difference for others. One-third have increased their financial support to family members affected by COVID-19. Many also are
interested in philanthropy and sustainable investing.

Looking ahead, investors globally feel a mix of hesitation and anticipation. Eight in 10 see both risk in the current environment and opportunity as well. The uncertainty is driving an increased need for advice. Among investors with an advisor, for example, 83% are seeking more guidance than usual.

With the pandemic not yet in the rearview mirror, investors are navigating a changed world. Most will find their way with clear priorities, trusted guidance—and continued appreciation for the most important things in life.

US investors believe things will never be the same …

82% believe the old way of live will be changed forever
86% say a sense of fear will linger

… and want to focus on family, health and safety

92% say staying healthy is a priority
81% say they want to protect their family more

COVID-19 has financially impacted many US investors, raising concerns

22% say they were significantly impacted; while 44% say they were somewhat impacted
44% worry about not having enough liquidity if there is another pandemic
77% say COVID-19 has impacted their retirement savings
37% worry about not leaving enough for their heirs

COVID-19 has hit some groups harder than others …

The pandemic has impacted my finances: 75% Millennials; 65% Boomers; 72% Men; 67% Women

… but many still want their money to make an impact

"I am highly interested in sustainable investing": 63% Millennials; 27% Boomers; 44% Men; 46% Women

Advice is key

75% say they want more guidance than usual from their financial advisors

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About the survey

For this edition of UBS Investor Watch, we surveyed more than 3,750 investors. They were made up of 25 – 30-year-olds with at least $250k in investable assets, 31–39 year olds with at least $500k in investable assets and those 40 or above with at least $1 million in investable assets. The US sample consisted of 1,007 investors. The research was conducted in May 2020.