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Market Volatility Exposes Investors’ Inner Conflict, Finds New Survey by Natixis Investment Managers

November 16, 2018

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 16, 2018--Six in ten Canadian investors say they are prepared for a market downturn, such as the steep declines seen in recent weeks, according to a new investor survey released today by Natixis Investment Managers. Yet while three-quarters (77%) claim to understand the risks of investing in the current market, 59% think market volatility could undermine their financial goals. In fact, nearly half (46%) believe they are exposed to even greater market risks today than they were before the 2008 financial crisis, a sense of unease that seems to conflict with investor behavior and high return expectations. What investors do next will depend on how they reconcile views on risk, return and financial security with market realities.

“A decade of rising markets, low interest rates and subdued volatility may have given investors unreasonable expectations and a false sense of security,” said David Giunta, CEO for the US and Canada at Natixis Investment Managers. “Our research suggests many investors’ instincts could undermine their financial success as volatility returns to the markets, but their continued trust in their financial advisors should help them remain disciplined as markets become more turbulent.”

Natixis’ survey of 300 individual investors in Canada found that most (75%) feel financially secure – for now. Almost half (45%) say the long bull market bolstered their confidence that they are on track to reach long-term financial goals; however, a closer look at investor sentiment and behavior reveals that investors may have an unrealistic understanding of risk and return. The survey shows:

Many investors today (80%) are confident their portfolio is properly diversified; however, six in ten Canadian investors admit they can’t identify most of the underlying investments in funds they own. This leaves them potentially unaware of overweighted exposure to certain sectors and geographies that have grown disproportionately faster than others and may need rebalancing. Still, just 51% of respondents overall said they have rebalanced their investments in the past year. While 94% of investors consider it more important for their investments to deliver long-term results than short-term gains, 30% are focused on short-term performance and 28% tend to sell off investments during periods of market volatility, possibly a reflection of their lack of understanding of volatility and potential to use it to their advantage. The annual return (above inflation) investors say they need to achieve to reach their goals is 9.1% – 46% higher than what financial advisors think is realistic (5.7%) 1. Achieving this level of return would mean assuming more risk to which investors demonstrate a clear aversion: More than eight in ten (84%) overall say they would choose safety over investment performance, up from 83% last year. 2

In its report on the findings, Natixis identifies three areas of conflict investors need to resolve as they consider their investing approach: 1) how to balance risk and return, 2) the benefits of active versus passive investments, and 3) their sense of trust and security.

Balancing risks and rewards: Understood in theory, not in practice

The study finds that investors may understand risk in theory, but it’s often tested only after they experience it. Among those who lived through the financial crisis, 29% sold some or all of their assets in reaction to the steep market downturn. While the sale of certain high-risk assets is sometimes warranted, of those who sold at the time, 22% later regretted the decision. One in three (31%) wish they got back into the market sooner and another 17% still aren’t invested, or reinvested, at the level they were before the crisis hit.

Most investors (70%) recognize that sudden 10 percent fluctuations in the market are a normal part of investing. Forty-eight percent view this kind of volatility as something they have to endure. Meanwhile, just 22% see volatility as an opportunity to get ahead. More troubling, perhaps, is that some investors (20%) think they need to avoid volatility altogether, while 10% admit they just don’t understand the effects of volatility on their investment performance. This may explain why Canadian investors who use a financial professional say the No. 1 area in which they need more assistance is help managing volatility.

In relation to market instability, rates present a new conundrum. After ten years at historic lows, interest rates have slowly inched up, driving volatility that has rattled some investors. More than half (58%) are worried about the negative effects that rising interest rates could have on their investments.

Active versus passive: Investors may be confusing low fees with greater value

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of investors claim to know the difference between active and passive investing, but the findings suggest some may be hearing only part of the active-passive dialogue that focuses on fees. Nine out of ten (94%) investors consider fees an important consideration when they are selecting investments, and 53% recognize that passive investments, such as index funds, tend to have lower fees. Meanwhile, 55% of investors also believe that index funds are less risky than other investments, and 62% of investors think index funds can help to minimize losses. The findings suggest that a large percentage of investors may be confusing lower fees with greater value.

Even while some might praise the virtues of passive investments, respondents’ preferences tend to favor active management. Seven in ten investors (74%) say they prefer an expert to find the best investment opportunities in the market, and 79% say it’s important to beat the benchmark.

“Our survey shows that investors are inclined to prefer active investment strategies, but their quest to lower investment costs may be setting unrealistic expectations for what passive investments can actually deliver,” said Abe Goenka, CEO at Natixis Investment Managers Canada. “Investors are caught in conflict and need help understanding a more nuanced argument for each approach.”

Trust and security and the opportunity for financial institutions

Despite the gains investors have enjoyed during the long bull market, along with a heightened sense of financial security, they also are unsettled by the pace and magnitude of change that has left them feeling generally wary and insecure. Only 28% of the investors Natixis surveyed would say the world today is a more secure place than it was ten years ago. Forty-five percent don’t consider the government trustworthy, and nearly as many (44%) don’t think the media is either.

At the same time, 66% feel as though it’s only gotten tougher to get ahead financially. Surrounded by so much uncertainty elsewhere in the world, investors are willing to place their trust in the financial system. When it comes to making financial decisions, 72% trust financial institutions and 79% trust financial advisors generally. Fully 91% of investors consider their own financial advisor trustworthy, far more than those who consider close friends, family or co-workers trustworthy when it comes to making financial decisions. In fact, most investors (70%) say those who have a professional financial advisor are more likely to reach their financial goals.

To download a copy of the full report, titled “Out of the Chaos and into Conflict,” visit im.natixis.com/en-ca/research/individual-investor-survey-conflict-2018.

Methodology

Natixis Investment Managers 2018 Global Individual Investor Survey was conducted by CoreData Research in September 2018. The survey included 9,100 investors in 23 countries and regions including Asia, Continental Europe, Latin America, and the Americas. In Canada, CoreData surveyed 300 investors with a minimum of $100,000 in investable assets.

About the Natixis Center for Investor Insight

As part of the Natixis Investment Institute, the Center for Investor Insight is dedicated to the analysis and reporting of issues and trends important to investors, financial professionals, money managers, employers, governments and policymakers globally. The Center and its team of independent and affiliated researchers track major developments across the markets, economy, and investing spectrum to understand the attitudes and perceptions influencing the decisions of individual investors, financial professionals, and institutional decision makers. The Center’s annual research program began in 2010, and now offers insights into the perceptions and motivations of over 70,000 investors from 31 countries around the globe.

About Natixis Investment Managers

Natixis Investment Managers serves financial professionals with more insightful ways to construct portfolios. Powered by the expertise of 27 specialized investment managers globally, we apply Active Thinking SM to deliver proactive solutions that help clients pursue better outcomes in all markets. Natixis ranks among the world’s largest asset management firms 3 with nearly $1 trillion assets under management 4 ($999.5 billion/€860.6 billion AUM).

Headquartered in Paris and Boston, Natixis Investment Managers is a subsidiary of Natixis. Listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, Natixis is a subsidiary of BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France. Natixis Investment Managers’ affiliated investment management firms and distribution and service groups include Active Index Advisors ®; 5 AEW; AlphaSimplex Group; Axeltis; Darius Capital Partners; DNCA Investments; 6 Dorval Asset Management; 7 Gateway Investment Advisers; H2O Asset Management; 7 Harris Associates; Investors Mutual Limited; Loomis, Sayles & Company; Managed Portfolio Advisors ®; 5 McDonnell Investment Management; Mirova; 6 MV Credit; Ossiam; Ostrum Asset Management; Seeyond; 8 Vaughan Nelson Investment Management; Vega Investment Managers; and Natixis Private Equity Division, which includes Seventure Partners, Naxicap Partners, Alliance Entreprendre, Euro Private Equity, Caspian Private Equity; 9 and Eagle Asia Partners. Not all offerings available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit the company’s website at im.natixis.com | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/natixis-investment-managers.

Natixis Investment Managers includes all of the investment management and distribution entities affiliated with Natixis Distribution, L.P. and Natixis Investment Managers S.A.

Natixis Distribution, L.P. is a limited purpose broker-dealer and the distributor of various registered investment companies for which advisory services are provided by affiliates of Natixis Investment Managers.

In Canada: This material is provided by Natixis Investment Managers Canada LP.

1 Natixis Investment Managers Canadian Survey of 150 Financial Professionals, CoreData Research, March 2018 2 Natixis Investment Managers Canadian Survey of 300 Individual Investors, CoreData Research, February 2017 3 Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2018 ranked Natixis Investment Managers as the 16th largest asset manager in the world based on assets under management as of December 31, 2017. 4 Net asset value as of September 30, 2018. Assets under management (“AUM”), as reported, may include notional assets, assets serviced, gross assets and other types of non-regulatory AUM. 5 A division of Natixis Advisors, L.P. 6 A brand of DNCA Finance. 7 A subsidiary of Ostrum Asset Management. 8 Operated in the U.S. through Ostrum Asset Management U.S., LLC. 9 Caspian Private Equity is a joint venture between Natixis Investment Managers, L.P. and Caspian Management Holdings, LLC.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181116005392/en/

CONTACT: Maggie McCuen

Natixis Investment Managers

Tel: 617-449-2543

Maggie.McCuen@Natixis.com

KEYWORD: NORTH AMERICA CANADA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ACCOUNTING BANKING FINANCE

SOURCE: Natixis Investment Managers

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 11/16/2018 12:01 PM/DISC: 11/16/2018 12:01 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181116005392/en

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