Investing in UAE: More than 3 in 10 NRIs are 'risk takers'

Study looks at differences in attitudes of expats towards investing their hard-earned dirhams

Dubai: They say you can become a millionaire if you’re willing to take risks. Apparently, a lot of expatriates in the UAE are quite skittish about the idea. In fact, many are very skittish about taking chances on just any stocks, mutual funds, insurance or any other investment schemes that promise huge payoffs.

Residents from the United Kingdom, in particular, are the most cautious when it comes to investing their income, while the largest number of risk takers are non-resident Indians (NRIs), according to a new research that looked into the attitudes of investors in UAE.

The study, carried out by financial solutions provider, Old Mutual International, and investment management firm, Quilter Cheviot, found that investor attitudes can vary depending on nationality.

The researchers found that there are more NRIs who consider themselves as “risk takers” (33 per cent) than there are expatriates from Europe (21 per cent), United Kingdom (20 per cent and North America (16 per cent).

The findings suggest that a huge number of foreigners from the UK may not find it a good idea to gamble their money away on any investment that doesn’t guarantee returns, with 48 per cent describing themselves as “risk averse”.

About three in ten (32 per cent) of North American expatriates shared the same view, so do 21 per cent of European expats (excluding those from the UK) and 17 per cent of NRIs.

“UK expats 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 risks, and may seek out shorter term opportunities,” Brendan Dolan, regional director for Middle East and Africa at Old Mutual International.

The research also found that NRIs are more engaged in their investments compared to other expatriates. About 9 in 10 Indians (92 per cent) make time to review their investment portfolio either monthly or quarterly with their adviser, compared to 79 per cent of Europeans, 58 per cent of North Americans and 53 per cent of British nationals.

There are also more Indians (75 per cent) who claim to know most or all of what they are invested in than there are Europeans (65 per cent), British (65 per cent) and North Americans (63 per cent).

“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,” said Dolan.

Loading...