Barclays Surveys 885 Investors – Here’s What They Found

I’ve said it until I’m blue in the face (or maybe “yellow in the face” is the better way to phrase it given my recent brush with a jaundiced death): geopolitics is the single most important factor for markets headed into the new year.

Personally, I’m predisposed to thinking that geopolitics is almost always the most important factor for investors to consider when thinking about markets unless there’s some clear and present danger like the imminent collapse of the US housing market.

Needless to say, the rise of populism across the globe and the attendant resurgence of nationalistic sentiment amongst an electorate that in my not-so humble opinion has been duped by demagogues, means that perhaps now more than ever, we need to be acutely aware of the political sea change taking place across the globe.

For the time being, stocks don’t seem to care but a new survey conducted by Barclays with some 900 investors suggests that geopolitics is front and center in their minds when it comes to risks. Below, find some of the charts from the poll…

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Meanwhile, here are the results of a recent institutional client survey by Citi (via Bloomberg):

Clients Show Falling Cash, ‘Altered Mindset’ of Optimism: Citi

Institutional clients demonstrated ‘a meaningfully more upbeat outlook’’ in latest survey, Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup’s chief U.S. equity strategist, writes in a note.

Median cash positions fell to 3.5% of assets, versus 7.5% in late September and 5.0% at this time last year

60% believe 20% rally in stocks is more likely than 20% correction from current levels
60% anticipated small caps outperforming

Respondents expect earnings to rise about 7% on average in 2017, up from less than 4% in late September

80% believe that there will not be a recession in either 2017 or 2018

Less than 5% considered 10y Treasury yield below 2% by this time next year

U.S. remains most favored market with more than 70% calling for a stronger dollar
European, emerging Asian and Japanese equities tied for second

Financials most loved sector by “a large margin,” followed by energy, industrials and technology

Utilities, along with consumer staples, are least favored

Dividend stocks have “lost their appeal” with 80% currently looking for them to underperform, compared with more than 70% expecting them to outperform in June

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One thought on “Barclays Surveys 885 Investors – Here’s What They Found

  1. These are the same investors that didn’t see 2008 stock market and real estate collapse, Brexit coming, didn’t see Trump getting elected, and those that didn’t believe the Fed would raise yesterday (particularly those holding gold stocks). We live in an age of “information pollution” where unqualified opinions, computer models and surveys are accepted by the 95% of the critically thinking challenged US population – over hard reproducible data and the observable present. For example, did anyone see Forbes article on KSA’s reevaluation of their ARAMCO IPO in the US and as well the related business investment funds in the US. In many ways the US population (its voters and or investors) are not exactly an intellectual strong hold on the planet.

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