U.S. equities remained popular with financial advisors as they shied away from non-U.S. securities.
Advisors pulled back from allocating client assets to non-U.S. securities due to renewed strength in the U.S. dollar and weak economies abroad, according to the latest Global Asset Allocation Tracker.
Our monthly barometer of where wealth managers are allocating assets for their clients shows that advisors were increasingly bearish on international markets. The tracker, which uses a baseline of 50, surveyed 282 advisors.
Advisors cited negative trends in overseas markets such as a weak Eurozone and falling oil prices to explain the pullback. They also pointed to positive momentum in the U.S. economy and a strong dollar.
"As throughout 2014, nothing feels right like the U.S. markets. We are absolutely convinced risk-reward ratios anywhere overseas is simply out of the acceptable range. Hence, we continue to embrace U.S. markets [and are] maybe looking at specific African nations, but that's it," one advisor says.
Many said that clients are concerned about international markets, with some losing patience. "They feel like there won't be a bounce back," one advisor said. Another said she is worried that some overseas economies could be headed for recession, and fears that deflation is on the horizon. That advisor said that she has "shortened up all our international positions and some of our global positions for 2015."
A few advisors, however, bucked the trend.
"I've been looking into the potential in international markets," one advisor said. "Domestic looks relatively optimistic, and I will continue to utilize funds in [the] U.S. However, trying to pinpoint the opportunities elsewhere is high on my radar."