UBS Investor Watch Survey Shows US Investor Optimism up 14%; Private Clients Ready to Invest in Markets and Spend on Experiences

18 October 2012

UBS Wealth Management Americas (WMA) today launched its Investor Watch report, a new quarterly survey of US private clients’ investment decisions and primary concerns as the nation approaches the Nov. 6 election. The first Investor Watch shows individual investors’ optimism returning, their flight to cash receding and their intentions to reinvest in financial markets and spend on experiences.

Highlights from the Investor Watch report include:

  • Individual investors are more optimistic than a year ago: 35% are optimistic about the short-term (12-month) economic outlook, versus 21% a year ago. And while 38% are pessimistic about the economy, that number is dramatically lower than a year ago, when 60% felt this way.
  • Younger investors are more optimistic: Younger private clients aged 25-49 are more optimistic about the short-term outlook and are more willing to take risks; 45% of younger investors are optimistic about the short-term economic outlook, compared to only one-third of older investors.
  • Flight to cash appears over: The vast majority of investors feel they have the right amount of cash. High net worth investors, especially, plan to decrease cash holdings and reinvest in the markets over the next year.
  • Debt, healthcare and the election are top of mind: 61% percent of US private clients are highly concerned about the size of the national debt in terms of potential impact on their financial goals and objectives. Rising health care costs and the national election were close behind on the list of investors’ worries.
  • Investors starting to spend: Investors are spending more time and money on leisure and experiential activities and less on shopping.

“Our Investor Watch survey identifies the top issues that concern our private clients, and allows us to tailor our individual investor research and recommendations to best help them navigate the current and future economic climate,” said Mike Ryan, Chief Investment Strategist for UBS WMA. “Investor Watch is another tool in our intellectual capital arsenal of global research, in-depth advice and focused solutions that help clients reach their financial goals.”

The UBS Investor Watch survey was conducted among more than 2,000 US investors, including current UBS clients. Investor Watch will track overall investor intentions and sentiments toward US economic factors, as well as geopolitical events, each quarter.

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