Trending Now: Insights from world investors

2014 LEGG MASON GLOBAL INVESTMENT SURVEY

What issues occupy investors now? And how do they differ by country? To learn more, we surveyed affluent investors in 20 major financial markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia about current investments and future opportunities.
  • What matters now to affluent investors worldwide

    Though attitudes differ from country to country, world investors find common ground on certain key themes:

    • Short-term confidence, long term doubt
    • Focus on wealth-building
    • Next-generation advice: plan ahead
    • Alternatives on a learning curve
    • Investing abroad: the reality of home bias
    • No relief on income
    Click here to view theme 1
  • Short-term confidence, long-term doubt

    Overall, world investors expressed guarded optimism about their investments in the year ahead and a high degree of confidence in their ability to achieve their financial goals. But looking farther into the future, their expectations grow darker. Nearly half believe the environment for investing will be more difficult for the next generation.

  • Focus on wealth-building

    Wealth accumulation was the top-selected primary goal of investing - substantially higher than more defensive goals like "protect my wealth". That's consistent with world investors' strong interest in equity investing, cited most frequently as the best investment opportunity for next 12 months.

  • Next-generation advice: plan ahead

    "Make a plan and stand by it" was the top-selected advice for future generations among world investors — perhaps not surprising given that "developed a financial plan" ranked #1 as the decision that had the most positive impact on investors' success over the past two years.

  • Alternatives: on a learning curve

    Alternatives and non-traditional investments command great interest, with half of global investors agreeing that they would like to learn more. 44% of world investors say they now hold non-traditional investments in their portfolios; however, only a quarter say they plan to increase the allocation to these assets in their portfolio over the next 12 months.

  • Investing abroad: the reality of home bias

    3/4 of world investors say international opportunities are more a focus than they were 5 years ago, yet on average only 17% of investments are held outside their home country. Among those who do not invest internationally, only a fifth say they are likely to consider it, with the potential for higher returns the most frequently cited reason to do so.

  • No relief on income

    Income is still on investors' radar: roughly the same percentage of world investors ranked income as important or extremely important this year as in last year's Global Income Survey. In addition, the "gap" between actual and hoped-for return on income investments widened for world investors from last year, from 280 basis points last year to 330 basis points this year.

    A basis point is equivalent to 1/100 of 1%.

Survey methodology: 4320 investors in 20 markets were surveyed between Dec. 10 2013 and Jan. 10 2014; 500 in the US and 200 in each other market. Respondents were required to have a minimum of $200K in investable assets to participate; half of respondents in each country had $1 million+ in investable assets. Global investor figures are composites based on weighted average of country-specific findings, weighted by relative incidence of qualified investors in each country. Survey conducted by Northstar Research Partners. For more details, consult our 2014 Global Summary Report.

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