Ultra Wealthy Investors Lowered 2010 Expectations: IPI Survey

Two-thirds of respondents plan to increase global long-only equity allocations

Some investors are still haunted by the “lost decade,” when zero was the S&P 500 index’s return from 2000 to 2009, according to a new survey released Monday by the Institute for Private Investors (IPI). The survey’s ultra‐high‐net worth respondents reported that they anticipated earning substantially less in their own portfolio in 2010 than the S&P 500’s 15% return for the year.

Despite earning an average actual return of 20% in 2009, these investors reported that they expect less than half that in 2010, an average gross return of 9.6%.

The survey, which was conducted by IPI in December, is the first part of Family Performance Tracking, published annually since 1995. One out of five IPI member families completed the survey, more than a third of which oversee $200 million or more.

Continuing last year’s trend, investor enthusiasm for global investments remains high, with 64% of respondents planning to increase allocations to global long‐only equity. An IPI survey has reported a larger proportion intending to add to a strategy or asset class only once before, in 2006, when nearly three out of four respondents said they would increase their allocation outside their domestic market.

A distant second to long‐only global equity was hedge funds/funds of funds, with 38% of respondents intending to increase their allocation. Another contender was commodities, where 33% of respondents predicted they would increase their exposure.

Slightly more than a third of investors expected to reduce their allocation to cash. The appetite for municipals also seems to be waning, with nearly four of 10 respondents planning to decrease their municipal holdings in the next 12 months.

IPI is a New‐York‐based membership organization that connects 1,100 ultra‐high‐net-worth individuals to one another, inside an online community and at educational events held throughout the year.

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