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The majority of Asian retail investors are self-directed, or do-it-yourself (DIY) investors, not relying on financial advisors to make their investment decisions.

One in three respondents to Cerulli Associates' proprietary survey of 4,000 retail investors across wealth tiers in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore indicated that they do not have a financial advisor, with nearly 40% of mass retail investors indicating they have no access to financial advice.

This is one of the key findings of Cerulli's inaugural report on Asian retail investors titled Asian Investor Segmentation: Unlocking Retail Investors' Secrets.

While there is limited access to financial advice in the mass retail segment, almost three in 10 investors across all wealth tiers are served by an advisor but do not use them, preferring to make their own investment decisions. "This indicates that two in three retail investors do not seek financial advice for investment-related decisions," says Cerulli senior analyst Shu Mei Chua, who led the report.

The remaining Asian investors are largely collaborators. About 30% have a consultative relationship with their financial advisor, but make most of their final decisions on their own. "Only 4% of Asian investors are fully reliant on their financial advisors to make their investment decisions," Chua adds.

The under-reliance on financial advice shapes the way Asian investors obtain their investment information. "Our survey showed that financial websites are the main source of information for DIY investors. They also like to gather investment information by reading the papers," says Yoon Ng, Asia research director with Cerulli. 

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