Coming off a rocky 2018, the world’s wealthy investors are nevertheless optimistic about the year ahead, according to a new investor survey from UBS Global Wealth Management.
The Zurich-based firm reported that its latest survey of more than 3,600 high net worth (HNW) investors in 17 countries found an increasing bullishness among wealthy investors (which are defined as investors with at least US$1 million in investable assets).
To start, the survey found that 51% of respondents are optimistic about the prospects for the global economy, and just 21% report being pessimistic.
Additionally, the HNW investors it surveyed were also bullish on stocks, UBS said. It noted that 56% are optimistic about the prospects for equities in their own markets, and 49% are bullish on global equities.
This high degree of bullishness is accompanied by relatively large allocations to cash, ready to be deployed. On average, 32% of portfolios are allocated to cash, UBS reported.
“While respondents held a large proportion of their assets in cash, many expressed willingness to invest it,” the firm said.
Indeed, the survey found that 42% of investors plan to invest more in the next six months, whereas only 17% expect to invest less.
“Cash is a safe asset for a liquidity strategy but a risky one for longevity. Right now, we see high levels of cash globally. This is a good time for investors to consider a more diversified portfolio,” Paula Polito, client strategy officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a statement.
UBS also found that wealthy investors are increasingly interested in sustainable investing. It noted that these strategies now make up 27% of their portfolios, up from 22% five years ago.
Investors’ biggest concerns, the survey found, were generally domestic issues, such as their country’s politics and national debt.