New York, July 23, 2019 – US high net worth individuals and business owners are expressing growing intentions to invest as US markets continue to hit record highs in 2019, according to UBS Global Wealth Management's new quarterly Investor Sentiment survey.
The survey, which polled more than 3,800 wealthy investors and entrepreneurs in 17 countries, also shows US investors remain positive on the U.S. stock market but continue to rank politics and the national debt as top concerns. Fifty percent of US investors see a diversified portfolio as a hedge against US-China trade tensions specifically, in line with UBS GWM's own views, compared with 41% who favor cash.
Filippo Ilardi, US Client Strategy Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, says: "We are pleased to see a substantial increase in investors willing to put more money in the market. Wealthy Americans are concerned about the political environment and US-China trade tensions but we are encouraged that they see diversification as an important way of managing some of these risks."
Overall, 41% of US investor respondents expressed optimism on the global economy and 30% expressed pessimism. This represented an improvement from the 37% who expressed optimism and the 31% who expressed pessimism in the Investor Sentiment survey released in the second quarter.
Thirty-seven percent also expressed an intention to invest more in the markets, up significantly from 26% in the previous quarter. Most investors remain optimistic on US stocks specifically, although the proportion has declined slightly from 57% of respondents to 53%.
US business owners were especially positive, with 81% optimistic about their business compared with 75% in the previous quarter. Overall, 46% said they intended to hire more workers versus 20% in the quarter prior. Business owners' top concern was healthcare costs, as cited by 61% of respondents, up 5 percentage points quarter over quarter. This worry was echoed in part by US high net worth investors, who cited healthcare costs as their third highest concern.
Mike Ryan, Americas Chief Investment Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, says: "We believe US investors are right to be positive on the US stock market outlook, and we retain an overweight position in US equities in our US client portfolios, although returns for the balance of the year are apt to be more modest given the impressive run for stocks during the first half. We are also likely to see periodic bouts of volatility as investors contend with ongoing trade tension and heightened expectations for Fed rate cuts."
Mark Sanborn, Head of Americas Investment Platforms and Solutions at UBS Global Wealth Management, says: "Wealthy Americans are rightly warming up to US markets amid the ongoing recovery in financial assets in 2019. In addition to interest in US stocks specifically, we are seeing encouraging levels of interest in more diversified portfolios as a means for investors to hedge risk and keep their financial plans on track."
Globally, sentiment also improved in the most recent quarter. The proportion of investors optimistic about the global economy remained unchanged on 51%, while 46% of investors planned to invest more, an increase of 4 percentage points.
After the US, the region with the fastest-growing willingness to invest was the European Union, after the European Central Bank signaled it would consider fresh stimulus in response to the European economic slowdown. Some 47% of European respondents outside Switzerland said they planned to invest more, up 8 percentage points quarter over quarter.
Notes to Editors
About the survey
UBS surveyed 3,899 investors and business owners with at least $1M in investable assets (for
investors) or at least $250k in annual revenue and at least one employee other than themselves (for business owners), from June 3 - July 6, 2019. The global sample was split across Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UAE, the UK, and the US.
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