The survey polled 11,113 investors in 22 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe on their current attitudes towards investing and their expectations for 2014 and the decade ahead.
The percentage of respondents who think that the UK will deliver the best equity returns in 2014 and over the next 10 years has increased significantly. Although UK investors expect Asia to deliver the best equity returns in 2014 as well as over the next decade, the number of respondents holding this view is down significantly from last year.
In addition, there has been a significant decrease in the number of investors who think precious metals will perform best both in 2014 and over the next 10 years, while there has been a significant increase in the number who think equities and property will perform best this year.
The findings show that the majority of UK investors surveyed (73%) intend to use their own research when deciding where to make their next investment, with a relatively modest 23% intending to use a financial advisor. Investors with household incomes of £70,000 ($115, 542) or more are the most likely to pay for the services of a financial advisor, whilst investors aged from 25-34 are most likely to seek help from family or friends.
Ian Wilkins, country head UK said, “We are excited by the growing investor optimism for equities and for UK equities in particular. These findings are supported by recent IMA figures which show that equity was by far the best-selling asset class in 2013. By region, UK equity funds were the second best-selling in 2013 with net retail sales of £2.9 billion – the highest since 2001.”
Globally, 52% of investors are planning to become more conservative with their strategies this year. However, this risk aversion is less pronounced than last year when the annual survey showed that 57% of investors planned to be more conservative with their investments.
This trend towards conservatism runs counter to the fact that most investors expect better stock market performance and higher returns from their investments this year, as well as the fact that four out of five investors feel optimistic about reaching their financial goals.