Almost three fifths of individual investors with 10,000 or more to spend during the next 12 months are aiming to boost retirement savings but many are failing to take a long-term view on high-growth assets, according to a Schroders poll.
In a report on global investment trends in 2014, published yesterday, the asset management company said that, of the 15,749 investors from 23 countries that responded to its poll, 61% said they were looking for satisfactory investment returns within just five years, with 5% taking a longer-term view of ten years or more.
This mismatch between investors' goals and the investment decisions they are making could jeopardise many people's ability to build the retirement pots they are seeking to achieve, the firm said.
Almost a half (46%) of those surveyed said they would prioritise pensions and retirement planning as a key investment goal for 2014.
Schroders executive vice chair Massimo Tosato said: 'We urge investors to take the time to review their objectives to ensure they are structuring investments to achieve their required outcomes and to tap into the economic growth opportunities emerging around the world.
'It is also important to take a long-term view where possible, particularly where retirement goals are concerned and to mitigate against short-term economic fluctuations such as those caused by the instability in Ukraine and recent concerns about the level of Chinese economic growth and the strength of the eurozone recovery.'
The study highlighted that investors were holding a significant proportion of their investment in cash and much less in high-growth assets, like equities, despite improving economic conditions and stock market performance.
Those surveyed said they would only allocate around 20% of their portfolios to higher-risk assets while holding around a third (35%) in medium risk assets and 44% in low risk asset classes such as cash.
Schroders study identified Asian investors as more risk-prone, as they were more open to placing their funds into higher-risk assets. But Asian investors said they intend to allocate only a quarter of their money to assets that provide higher growth potential this year. Respondents from Europe/UAE said they would invest only 18%, while US responders said 20%.