Wealthy investors worldwide are more worried about the investment environment next year than in the years following for the rest of that decade.
According to a new UBS Investor Watch survey of 3,400 investors worldwide, 55% expect a big market drop before the end of 2020 and 79% see higher volatility ahead, but 70% are optimistic about their portfolios over the next decade.
Given their pessimistic near-term outlook, investors are holding 25% of their portfolios in cash and 60% say they would consider adding more cash.
U.S. investors hold slightly less cash in their portfolios — 21% — but were almost as willing to increase cash holdings in the future.
Frank Bonanno, managing director of StoneCastle Cash Management, says large cash holdings among investors threatens their relationships with advisors. “Cash has become the gateway asset class to attract individuals away from their RIA relationship…. RIAs not speaking to clients about cash will lose that cash to banks and other competition.”
In addition to holding lots of cash, investors surveyed expect to boost their holdings of high-quality stocks and increase diversification to protect their portfolios.
The UBS survey also found that geopolitical issues are top concerns among all investors, though the political environment and presidential election place higher on the worry list for U.S. investors, who comprised almost one-third of respondents.