COVID-19: A Wake-Up Call for Financial Wellness

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Hong Kong investors show a growing preference for trusted and personalised wealth management solutions amid the pandemic, according to a new report released by Quantifeed, Asia’s award-winning provider of digital wealth management solutions. The report, State of Wealthcare – Disconnects Between Hongkongers’ Desire and Action, reveals that wealthcare – the financial wellness of an individual – has become an essential part of Hongkongers’ lives.

Alex Ypsilanti, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Quantifeed, said: “Hongkongers clearly indicated their demand for wealth management services. It is time for financial institutions to meet this need by digitising their wealth offering for easier access. This further validates a future where financial management is effortless – where savings and investments are automated, personalised and available to everyone.”

Wealthcare is the new healthcare

Wealthcare has emerged as a top life planning priority for the majority of Hongkongers. Seven out of 10 respondents believe that investments are essential for life planning and reaching financial goals.

But only 29% of those surveyed are satisfied with their current financial status. While people see a need to invest, four out of five respondents indicated no clear financial goals, investing simply to make more money. Buying a property is, surprisingly, no longer top of mind for Hongkongers.

Quantifeed found that Hongkongers are generally dependent on a single investment product, with 88% of respondents investing heavily in Hong Kong stocks. However, they are also open to exploring global opportunities, with around 70% showing interest in investing their money abroad. This presents an opportunity for financial institutions to give investors guidance on globally diversified investments that can help meet their financial goals.

Fundamental elements for wealthcare: Accessibility, affordability, and transparency

Over half of the respondents do not receive wealth management advice from financial advisors, citing wealth management services as unaffordable. There are also concerns among surveyed investors that advisors may have hidden agendas, and neither review portfolios nor provide tailored advice to meet their needs on a regular basis.

While surveyed Hongkongers also rely heavily on advice from the media (61%), and family and friends (50%), they lack the knowledge to piece together advice from multiple channels into a single action. Despite misconceptions on financial advisors, 83% of respondents expressed a desire for personalised investment advice and wealth management services – a gap for financial institutions to fill by offering always-on guidance to their customers.

COVID-19 as a catalyst for wealthcare

The pandemic has reshuffled investment expectations and behavior. Professional advice has become more important than ever as investors seek help in navigating an ever-changing environment. During COVID-19, Hongkongers expressed frustration about their lack of access to advisors — with most having to make decisions without being able to consult with wealth management professionals.

Trust and personalization paramount for financial institutions in the digital future

This new release is issued by Quantifeed HK Limited Units A-E, 12/F, Golden Sun Centre 59-67 Bonham Strand West Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Website: www.quantifeed.com While incumbent financial institutions, such as retail banks, are trusted by the majority of Hongkongers, respondents are open to being serviced by virtual banks and other independent direct-to-consumer fintech startups. With a clear desire for personalised financial solutions, three out of four respondents expressed interest in using robo technology to achieve their goals.

Although there is a progressive attitude towards digital adoption, the report strongly indicates that Hongkongers are looking for a digital-first, rather than a digital-only experience. Gen Zs – as digital natives – paint an interesting picture: 85% are keen on new forms of investment, yet 25% of them still visit a counter at a bank branch.

It is therefore high tech, complemented by high touch that will form the backbone of the next generation of wealthcare.

The survey, commissioned by Quantifeed, was conducted in July 2020 by Rakuten Insights. Twelve hundred Hong Kong residents, aged 18 and above, were surveyed to gauge their attitudes towards wealth management.

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