Most investors around the world are not comfortable taking on more risk to achieve better returns despite recent gains that have pushed some stock markets to all-time highs, according to a new survey.
BlackRock’s first Global Investor Pulse Survey found that even less risk-averse affluent people with more than $250,000 in investable assets and greater confidence about their financial futures, along with investors of all types around the world, tended hold a lot of cash, with no immediate plans to change their investment mix.
In the U.S., investors of all types held 48% of investable assets in cash, with 18% in stocks and 7% in bonds.
Equity ownership rates were highest in Hong Kong and Taiwan, countries that also have high overall rates of household savings.
The BlackRock poll, executed by Cicero Group, a research outfit, interviewed 17,567 respondents in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan between Aug. 24 and Sept. 16. The U.S. sample comprised 4,000 respondents.
Researchers imposed no income or asset qualifications in selecting poll participants in order to make the survey a representative sampling of each country’s entire population.
The survey found that nearly half of U.S. investors were positive overall about their financial futures, while the other half expressed worries ranging from “concerned” to “nervous,” “pessimistic” and “depressed.”
Notably, 58% of people who worked with a financial advisor — whether affluent or not — reported feeling positive about their financial future.
Affluent investors were more upbeat, with 72% describing themselves as positive, 78% saying they felt in control of their financial futures and 81% expressing confidence in the way they were making savings and investment decisions.