Most investors think of a long-term time horizon for their investments as somewhere between five and 10 years.
Fund manager PM Capital surveyed financial planners, asking them about their clients. It found that 64 per cent of investors set long-term goals over five to 10 years, while only 15 per cent consider a long-term horizon to be more than 10 years.
What about 20 years, or 40, which is the time most people will be saving for their retirement?
PM Capital’s chief investment officer Paul Moore says these investment horizons are inconsistent with life expectancy, which is 80.9 years for men and 84.8 years for women.
Moore’s concern is that the mismatch between short-term goal setting and long life expectancy will result in unfulfilled financial goals.
This short-term thinking may explain why Australian investors are risk averse.
According to this year’s ASX Australian Investor Study, a high proportion of investors want low-risk exposures but also want returns in excess of 10 per cent a year.