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7 in 10 Global Investors Want to Adjust Portfolios Ahead of U.S. Election: UBS

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Seven in 10 investors globally are considering a shift in their portfolio holdings ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, and three in five plan to make additional changes based on the result, UBS reported Wednesday.

In a survey, 66% of investors said they were considering allocations to the health care sector over the next six months, while 62% were considering 5G networks and 56% investments in a green recovery.

Related: Private Equity Is Doubling Down on ESG Amid Pandemic

Fifty-five percent of respondents said their home region was an attractive investment, the most popular choice globally.

Forty-nine percent said they wanted to capture more yield in the next six months, compared with just 29% who wanted to reduce the level of risk in their portfolio.

And three-quarters of survey participants said they wanted more contact with their advisor.

“We recognized early in the pandemic that our clients needed advice more than ever, and the ongoing market volatility and political uncertainty reinforced that need,” Tom Naratil, president of UBS Americas and co-president of UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a statement.

UBS surveyed 2,852 investors with at least $1 million in investable assets, and 1,150 business owners with at least $1 million in annual revenue and at least one employee other than themselves from Sept. 22 to Oct. 12. The global sample comprised Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mainland China, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S.

Regional Sentiment

U.S. investors’ optimism over their region’s short-term economic and market outlook has increased by the second biggest margin globally. Fifty percent said they were optimistic on the economy, up from 41% three months ago, and 55% were optimistic on stocks, up from 44%.

Forty-nine percent of investors globally considered the U.S. an attractive investment, the highest across any one region.

Related: U.S. Stocks See Third-Biggest Outflow Ever

Fifty-five percent of Asian investors expressed optimism on the economic outlook in their own region over the next 12 months, in line with the global average. They were also more likely to adjust their portfolios around the U.S. election.

Eighty percent of Asian respondents said they were considering doing so before the vote, and 65% were planning to do so afterward.

Latin American investors in the survey were the most likely to express a positive short-term outlook, with 62% optimistic on their own region’s economy and 60% on its stocks. Eighty-one percent said they were considering making portfolio changes in anticipation of the Nov. 3 election, and 73% planned to make additional changes based on the result, the highest proportions globally.

European respondents outside Switzerland expressed above-average optimism on their own region’s economy over the next 12 months. Fifty-eight percent say they are optimistic, compared with 55% globally. Two-thirds of Europeans said they would adjust their portfolios after the U.S. elections.

Compared with their international peers, European investors are more likely to be planning to adjust their portfolios after the U.S. elections, with 65% saying they will do so.

In the short term, Swiss investors’ optimism on their own region’s economy and stocks has increased by the highest margin globally. Forty-four percent said they were optimistic on their region’s economy over the next 12 months, up from 32% three months earlier, and 54% said the same about their region’s stocks over the next six months, up from 42%.

Noting that investors appeared to be more positive on their own region than on the world at large amid uncertainty over the U.S. election and pandemic, UBS Global Wealth Management’s Co-President Iqbal Khan said, “We believe they should diversify globally and avoid falling prey to their own home bias.”

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