People & Money 2020

People & Money 2020

We believe the BlackRock People & Money report1 is about discovery, truth and opportunity. As the world changes, so does people’s thinking about money. That’s why we traveled the globe to talk to them about this complicated relationship. This is their story. And the more we listen, the better we can act.

What we heard

52 percent
52% say that money causes high amounts of stress.
77 percent
77% are concerned they will outlive their savings during retirement.
80 percent
80% want their investments to make a positive impact.
62 Percent
62% say they find investment information difficult to understand.
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Sustainability gets the green light

Singaporeans believe that it is not enough to just screen out the bad, people want to advance their ideals.

80 Percent

67% in Singapore are interested in making investments that address the E,S or G issues they care about.

one in three investor

Nearly 1 in 2 non-investors said sustainable options would encourage them to invest for the first time.

One in two investor

Spread the word

Spread the word

  • Only 43% of Singaporeans are familiar with sustainable investing, but when made aware 69% find it appealing.
  • 26% of people in Singapore have never heard of the term.
  • 50% of men in Singapore are familiar with the term sustainable investing, but only 34% of women say the same.

A world of myths

Lack of knowledge leads to misconceptions. Over half of Singaporeans think sustainable investing translates to higher costs (63%) sacrificing returns (56%), and higher risk (54%).

The word of myths

Singaporeans are also unaware of how sustainability is measured (75%). This is consistent across age groups, regions and investors vs. non-investors. 

The most important ESG issues

Environmental issues are the main concern, more specifically pollution and waste (63%) and climate change risk (60%).

ESG Issues

Singaporeans are more likely to feel strongly about working practices in the developing world than the APAC average (34% vs. 26%).

Sustainability: The megatrend

We found that 4 in 5 people are interested in investing in key megatrends. Climate change is most appealing (32%), followed by technological advancement (25%) or emerging wealth (13%).

Sustainability the megatrend

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Removing old walls

Status quo and old financial systems are keeping new investors away. As an industry, we can work to become more in tune with society. The more obstacles we remove, the more financial futures we can build.

The last taboo

Singaporeans' relationship with money is complicated. Money is something people still feel reluctant to discuss. We must help people to feel comfortable discussing their money issues by changing the narrative to be open, trusting and inclusive. It’s how we will bring financial well-being to more people.

the Last Taboo

Cash vs. Investments

We must change perceptions to change the balance:

  • Cash makes people feel secure (52%), safe (50%), and in control (49%)
  • People view investing as risky (41%)
  • Singaporeans see cash as the way to preserve their wealth, and investments as the way to grow their wealth.

Here’s what Singaporeans want to deploy their cash or investments for: 

Cash vs. Investments

Are we talking to ourselves?

How can we expect more people to trust investing if they can’t understand what we are talking about? It’s clearly not just a matter of knowing what to say, but how to say it.
62% say investing information is difficult to understand.
48% of people who are already investing do not consider themselves investors.
65% do not see themselves in advertisements from investing institutions.
Not for me
Not for me
40% do not agree that “investing is for people like me.”

Technology gets a big thumbs up emoji

People really see technology as an advantage when managing money. We found that more and more, investors are becoming reliant on it. They see access, convenience, clarity and cost efficiency as key benefits.

Ease of access
61% in Singapore value the ease of access that technology provides to their money at any moment.
Provides more options
51% of people in Singapore believe that technology gives more options when managing their finances.
Reliable and transparent
49% of Singaporeans value the reliable and transparent management that technology provides.

But humans still get a big thumbs up, for now

When it comes to managing money, human expertise and interaction is still important: today, Singaporeans prefer a mix of tech and human support. But there is a shift towards technology-based preferences for the future. 

Humans still get big thumbs

Thinking forward

We asked people what would have helped them feel better about past financial decisions. They mentioned more tech solutions:

Thinking Forward

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The changing realities of retiring

The meaning of retirement is evolving and, with it, so are expectations for the future. It’s no longer an idyllic final destination, but rather a modified working state. 

Changing realities of retiring

People want to maintain their current lifestyle, and know they need to do more in order to do that. In fact, 65% say they would like to have extra money to full enjoy their retirement


Worried about the future

Even though 2 in 3 in Singapore report they have started saving for retirement, they don’t always feel confident or prepared.

Worried about the future

What we can do

We need to maintain the urgency to invest. The goal hasn’t changed: to protect people later in life. Though people know their retirement savings may not be their only income source in “retirement,” this can’t stop people from contributing now.

What we can do

This survey* was fielded between November 2019 and January 2020, with 1,034 respondents in Singapore. We note throughout where the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the trends or reinforced the insights into people’s relationship with money.

Income for every outcome

Delivering the income you need through our range of investment solutions.
Income for every outcome

Sustainable Investing

What is sustainable investing?
Align your investments to your values with funds that support sustainable, well governed organizations.
Resilience amid investing
Read more in our research for institutional and professional investors.
Putting sustainability at the centre of how we invest
Sustainability-integrated portfolios can help investors achieve their financial goals.

Sustainable investing rises amid market volatility

Brian Deese, Global Head of Sustainable Investing, discusses the strength of sustainable investing so far this year and its outlook for the rest of 2020.