RLAM asked an audience of 89 wealth managers, institutional clients and financial advisers at its annual investment conference last week a number of questions including which asset class they favoured over the next 12 months.
Only a minority of 43% named equities as their preferred choice for the coming year, despite the continued difficulty in generating returns from fixed income in the era of rock-bottom interest rates.
Of those quizzed 17% said they favoured cash or absolute return, offering further evidence of the increasingly defensive mindset among advisers.
Another notable finding was a strong belief that the campaign to remain in the European Union will come out on top in next month’s referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership. Some 89% of the respondents predicted a vote to stay will be the result despite polls indicating a close vote.
The participants were also asked to pick out what they consider the biggest threats to investors this year, with “Chinese destabilisation” causing most worry at 34%. A further 22% cited a euro crisis as the number one threat.
Investment process was pinpointed as the most important factor for investors selecting an asset manager by 38% of respondents, above investment performance which was backed by a 25% of respondents.
“Investors are understandably nervous about the upcoming referendum vote, with the prospect of a Brexit potentially leading to heightened volatility in financial markets,” said Rob Williams, RLAM head of distribution. “With less than two months until the EU referendum, the consensus amongst our audience was aligned with our own house view that Britain would vote to remain in the European Union.”