Digital Assets

Fourth OCBC Financial Wellness Index finds young crypto investors still keen on cryptocurrencies despite crash

The fourth edition of the OCBC Financial Wellness Index finds that two in five Gen Z and young millennial Singapore investors in their 20s still plan to invest in cryptocurrencies within the next 12 months despite the crash this year. On average, Gen Z and young millennial crypto investors who made losses lost 40% from their crypto investments.

These findings are just two of the many insights into Singaporeans’ financial behaviours, worries and aspirations in an increasingly challenging economic environment in 2022. The uneven post-pandemic recovery, record-high inflation, soaring interest rates and geopolitical and market uncertainty have hit Singaporeans’ financial wellness. This year’s OCBC Financial Wellness Index dipped to 61, returning the score to 2020 levels, when the world was grappling with the Covid-19 outbreak.

The decline comes on the back of poorer investment returns, increased debt stress and derailed retirement plans. Higher rates of gambling, reckless spending and speculative investing were also observed.

The Index is based on an online survey of 2,182 working adults in Singapore between ages 21 and 65 that was carried out in August 2022.

Close to one in six (14%) Singaporeans in their 20s are invested in high-risk, high-return products, while close to one in five (18%) are invested in cryptocurrencies. Of these young crypto investors, two in five of them said that they would still be willing to invest in crypto within the next year, despite the volatility of the asset class in 2022.

Those in their 30s had a similar risk appetite, with 12% invested in high-risk, high-return products. 14% are invested in cryptocurrencies, compared to just 8% of Gen Xs aged between 40 and 54, and 4% of Baby Boomers aged 55 and above.

This penchant for investing in riskier assets has hit young Singaporeans. About two in five (42%) investors in their 20s made an overall loss on their investments, up 19% from last year, and more than a third (35%) of investors in their 30s made an overall loss, up 10% from last year.

Young Singaporeans’ worries about retirement may be the reason for this risk-taking behaviour. On average, Gen Zs and millennials in their 20s and 30s aspire to retire at 58 – a decade before Singapore’s official re-employment age of 68. In addition, they wish to retire in style. When offered three retirement lifestyles, more in their 20s (34%) and 30s (28%) picked the most luxurious lifestyle, compared to Gen X (21%) and Baby Boomers (22%).

But Gen Zs and millennials are concerned about whether these goals can be reached; despite being relatively far from retirement, 62% of those in their 20s and 56% of those in their 30s worry that they will not have enough retirement funds.

Many have thus begun looking for side income. Besides investments, other popular forms of side income include side hustles like food delivery, running online businesses, giving tuition or being influencers. Almost half (48%) of those in their 20s, and two in five (40%) of those in their 30s, have side hustles.