INVESTORS are in two minds over how much of their cash they should have at the ready, and how much to stash away in investments.

A survey has found that investors generally think that cash should make up 33 per cent of their portfolio but at the same time, 61 per cent said they also want to hold more cash to give them greater flexibility and keep their options open.

The end result was that cash ended up accounting for 46 per cent of an average investor's portfolio while those with financial advisers kept only 37 per cent of their savings and investments in cash. Singaporeans save 29 per cent of their take-home pay on

average, which is higher than the global average of 20 per cent.

The online survey of 1,000 local investors from July to August was commissioned by asset manager BlackRock, which may market some of its investment products through financial advisers. "There is plenty of room for investor education and advice to help investors here achieve their long-term financial goals," said BlackRock's head of retail distribution, Ms Sabrina Gan, in a statement yesterday.

The study found that 36 per cent of investors polled were using professional financial guidance but out of that group, only 46 per cent relied on their adviser for all or most of their financial decisions.

Ms Gan said professional advisers could help investors "develop a strong plan" to meet their long-term financial goals.

Fewer than half of the investors surveyed were bullish about the local stock market and the domestic economy.

Those who believed that the stock market would do well over the next 12 months made up 49 per cent of the total respondents, but that is still higher than the global figure of 44 per cent.

Ms Gan told a briefing at BlackRock's office at Twenty Anson yesterday that optimism in the local stock market over the next year was not translating into much buying or selling of shares right now because investors were risk-averse and wanted to preserve their capital.

Also, only 23 per cent of investors here thought the domestic economy was getting better, with 27 per cent believing it will get worse.

In general, the study also found that investors were concerned about rising costs of living and medical fees while also stressing that it was important to save money and invest for retirement.

The survey covered 27,500 people in 20 markets across the world.