Former Vice President Joe Biden. (Photo: Ryan Collerd/Bloomberg) Former Vice President Joe Biden. (Photo: Ryan Collerd/Bloomberg)

Wealthy investors and business owners in a global survey released Wednesday by UBS are increasingly optimistic about the economy and the stock market, but are concerned about the outcome of the November U.S. presidential election, with many saying they will adjust their portfolios based on who wins.

The survey also found that 46% of respondents globally ranked the U.S. election among their biggest worries, up from 39% three months ago, exceeded only by the political environment and COVID-19.

At the same time, U.S. respondents were less likely than their global counterparts to say they would adjust their portfolios based on the winner, with 46% of Americans saying they would do so, compared with the global average of 61%.

UBS conducted the survey from June 23 to July 13 among 2,867 investors and 1,151 business owners in 14 markets, including 902 U.S. investors and 500 U.S. business owners. Investors in the sample had at least $1 million in an investable assets, and business owners had at least $1 million in annual revenue and at least one employee other than themselves.

Forty-six percent of global respondents expressed optimism on the global economy over the next 12 months, up from 40% three months ago, while 38% were pessimistic, down from 45%.

Fifty-two percent said they were optimistic on their own region’s economy over the next 12 months, up from 46%, and 53% were optimistic on stocks in their own region over the next six months, up from 45%.

American respondents’ optimism on their region’s economic outlook increased more than in any other part of the world, with 41% expressing optimism compared with 30% three months earlier.

UBS noted in a statement that a closely contested U.S. election could indeed result in increased market volatility, citing its most recent ElectionWatch report, which examines the election’s global and regional implications.

Nevertheless, it said, the report did not envisage the levels of volatility that accompanied the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The US election will likely present numerous opportunities for investors, as well as some clarity over policy direction in the world’s largest economy,” Solita Marcelli, UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment officer for the Americas, said in the statement.

“Regardless of the result, the eventual impact on financial markets is likely to be close to neutral, even if they experience some interim volatility.“

Fifty-five percent of survey respondents said Joe Biden would most likely win the presidency in November, compared with 45% who said Donald Trump would be reelected.

Forty-nine percent of Latin American investors foresaw a Trump victory, the highest proportion globally, while 42% of Swiss investors predicted a Trump win, the lowest share in any region.

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