UK expats in the UAE are more risk-averse with their investments, while non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the country are the most informed about their investment portfolios, according to a new report.
The report, carried out by financial solutions provider Old Mutual International, and investment management firm Quilter Cheviot, said that there are large differences between the understanding, attitudes and engagement of investors depending on nationality.
The research found that 48% of UK expats in the UAE believe they are risk-averse, compared to an overall average of 32%. North American (NA) expats were in line with the average at 32% while 21% of European expats (excluding UK) identified themselves as risk averse, and NRIs charted as the least at 17%.
The largest percentage identifying themselves as risk takers were NRIs (33%), followed by European (21%), UK expats (20%), and just 16% of NAs.
The research also found that NRIs are more involved in their investments compared to other nationalities. The survey said that 92% review their investment portfolio either monthly or quarterly with their adviser, compared to 79% of European respondents, 58% of NAs and 53% from the UK.
And this level of engagement was also demonstrated by NRIs’ knowledge of their investments – 75% said they know most or all of what they are invested in, compared to 74% of Europeans, 65% of UK expats and just 63% of NAs.
Another surprising difference came from the attitudes of investors based in the UAE’s largest two cities. More investors from Dubai (32%) identified themselves as risk takers, compared to 22% from Abu Dhabi, while 39% from the capital claim to be risk averse compared to 26% from Dubai.
“It is perhaps no surprise that investors have different behaviours and expectations depending on their nationality, as cultural and geographic variances play a key part in shaping who we are. We know from our own experience in the region that different nationalities have different behaviours, and this research echoes those variances,” said Brendan Dolan, regional director, Middle East and Africa, for Old Mutual International.
“UK expats, for example, are typically more cautious, they tend to invest for the long term, and will place a high value on the services provided to them from their broker. NRIs, on the other hand, seem more comfortable with taking investment risk, and may seek out shorter term opportunities, constantly reviewing the strategy within their portfolio.
“These differences highlight the extent to which financial advisers and providers need to tailor their approach to meet a range of expectations.”
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