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Wealthy Investors Add to Commodities, Real Estate Allocations

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Ultrawealthy investors favor commodities and real estate, according to an Institute for Private Investors survey released last week.

Forty-five percent of respondents to the 13th annual Family Performance Tracking survey increased their allocation to commodities, 31% to real estate and 22% to private equity, IPI said in a statement.

Investors also increased their municipal holdings, but cut back their investment in hedge funds and funds of hedge funds.

The two-part IPI survey examines the expectations, returns and asset allocations of IPI member families. Data released earlier this year looked at families’ anticipated investment strategies. This follow-up survey, completed in April, measured wealthy investors’ actual allocation and performance.

In other findings from the April survey:

  • 70% of families said they were worried about geopolitical risk and domestic policy shifts.
  • 48% were concerned about finding opportunities for yield.
  • 62% of respondents reported employing an advisor for more than 50% of their wealth, an all-time high from past surveys.
  • About half of the families said they were “staying the course” with their investments, rather than trying to time the market.
  • Families’ returns for 2011 varied from -10% to +25% net of fees, with the majority reporting returns between -2.2% and +2.3% net of fees. The five-year average was +2.4% net of fees.
  • Nearly two-thirds of families who sought principal protection reported positive returns in 2011, while slightly less than half of those who cited growth as their objective saw positive returns.

IPI, a subsidiary of Campden Wealth, serves some 345 ultrahigh-net-worth families across the country with minimum assets of $30 million. Fifty-seven families responded to the survey, conducted via member questionnaires.