Global Financial System Stability

International ambiguity such as Brexit and trade disputes appear to be manifesting themselves in a degree of uncertainty among our survey respondents. Only 36% feel that the global financial system is either very or somewhat stable, with the share of ‘very stable’ responses sitting at around just 6% in both quarters. North Americans are the most positive, with 39% feeling confident in the market’s stability. However, our European and Asian respondents appear to be much more negative, as this figure falls to 30% and 29%  respectively.

It is logical therefore that European and Asian respondents are also much more likely than Americans to feel that the global financial system is either somewhat or very unstable (47% in Europe, 46% in Asia, 29% in North America).  Time will tell whether Americans’ confidence in the global financial system is well judged or misguided. Around a fifth of our respondents in each of the regions adopt a neutral standpoint on this matter, while only 2% say that they don’t know.

Unfiltered Base:  982 global affluent/HNWIs | Source:  LuxuryOpinions/Altiant

Stock Market Knowledge

Similar trends emerge for knowledge in the stock market. 21% of respondents to this survey claim that they are very knowledgeable about the stock market, rising to 27% among men and 34% among North Americans. Only 16% of Europeans and 14% of Asians claim to be very knowledgeable on the matter and are instead more likely to believe they are only somewhat knowledgeable, or have very little   knowledge.

Overall, half of our respondents feel that they are somewhat knowledgeable, probably knowing enough to navigate the basics of stock market investments. Men are again more likely than women to make this assertion (54% vs 46%). Women are much more likely than men to feel less confident with stock market matters, as 29% claim to have very little knowledge compared to 17% of men. Only 6% say that they have no knowledge at all, which does suggest at least a passing interest or interaction with stock markets for the majority of our  respondents.

Unfiltered Base:  982 global affluent/HNWIs | Source:  LuxuryOpinions/Altiant


Regional Stock Market Confidence

North Americans are also the most confident about their future stock market performance over the next 12 months, with 15% thinking they will perform much better and 35% a little better (compared to overall averages of 8% and 29% respectively). 18-39s are also much more confident than over-40s about an improved performance of their regional stock market for the upcoming year (42% vs 33%).

Around a third of our sample believe that stock market performance will remain broadly even over the next 12 months, while a slightly lower share expects a downturn (31%). Over-40s and men are more likely than under-40s and women to believe that stocks will perform a little worse or much worse, while Asians are also the most pessimistic by some distance   (39%).

 Unfiltered Base:  982 global affluent/HNWIs | Source:  LuxuryOpinions/Altiant 

Investing in Cryptocurrencies

Virtual cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity in recent years, with companies such as Bitcoin leading the charge. While these currencies are naturally more volatile than fiat currencies (e.g. the 2018 ‘Cryptocurrency Crash’), they have been a successful investment platform for many. However, some countries are now tightening regulations surrounding cryptocurrency trading, such as South Korea forbidding the anonymous trading of Bitcoins.

The concept of cryptocurrencies has grown to the extent that only 8% of our affluent/HNWI sample are now entirely unfamiliar with it. Instead, many of our panellists are exploring the market, either for immediate or longer-term gains. A third of our sample currently invest in cryptocurrencies, 20% doing so with a long-term view, and 13% with a short-term view. 18-39s, men and North Americans are the most likely to be active investors in this industry.

Cryptocurrency’s popularity with our affluent/HNW panel appears buoyant as the share of long-term investors rose from 18% to 24% between Q3 and Q4 alone. Their popularity looks likely to continue growing, as 32% do not currently invest, but are interested in doing so in the future. Both age groups and all three regions express this interest, but it is the robust female interest (37%) which is particularly eye-catching. Only 28% of our sample do not currently invest in cryptocurrencies and do not think they will do so in the future, with over-40s the most likely sceptics.

One factor not to overlook is that investment in cryptocurrencies is often done with contrarian positions (ETF’s, put options, or short selling). These are not explicitly differentiated in the data set, and therefore are also reflected within the short/long term horizon answer choices.

 Unfiltered Base:  982 global affluent/HNWIs | Source:  LuxuryOpinions/Altiant
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