South African investors’ expectations on returns vs the world

South African investors are setting themselves up for disappointment, a new Schroders global investor study shows.

The study – which is based on a survey of over 25,000 investors across 32 countries – found that South African expectations of future earnings are significantly higher than the majority of their global counterparts.

Speaking at an event hosted in Johannesburg on Thursday (12 September) Schroders South Africa country head Doug Abbott, said that these high expectations are despite the fact that most local respondents failed to achieve their investment objectives over the past five years.

“The research shows that over the next five years, South African investors expect to make an average annual total return (income and capital growth) of 13.8%, which is more than 3% higher than global investors’ expectations (10.7%),” he said.

“These relatively high expectations are despite the fact that 59% South Africans feel they didn’t achieve their investment objectives over the past five years, which is higher than global investors (51%).”

Abbott suggests that the expectations being exhibited by local investors are due to the good long-term returns that South Africans have been able to achieve from equity markets, historically, and the need to achieve returns that can beat higher inflation rates than developed markets.

Unfortunately, Abbott said that globally and in South Africa, investors may need to manage their expectations, as future returns may not match them.

“After almost a decade of strong stock market returns, which has seen many investors become used to good returns from global equities in particular, our return expectations for the next ten years show that stock market indices’ returns are likely to be lower than those experienced in the past decade,” he said.

“In the US, the equity market is predicted to weaken from 13.9% a year on average to 7% a year, while in the UK and European markets, equity returns are expected to lessen from 8.8% and 9.5% to 4.6% and 5.1%, respectively.”

“Expectations need to be reassessed, but there are still attractive opportunities for investors who take the right approach,” he said.

“We believe that factors such as asset allocation, access to multiple sources of return, active stock selection and risk management will be critical in meeting the goals of investors over the next decade.”

Read: Government study shows that new debt law will hurt South Africans

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South African investors’ expectations on returns vs the world