In a hunt for better valuations, advisors have been shunning domestic bonds and increasing allocations to global equities, citing worries about U.S. interest rates and more favorable opportunities in European economies.
Our monthly barometer of where advisors are allocating assets on behalf of clients finds higher allocations to non-U.S. equities. The Global Asset Allocation Tracker, using a baseline of 50, surveyed 308 advisors and found that their global equity allocations almost matched the previous high, recorded in October 2013.
Readings of less than 50 indicate declines, while readings of more than 50 indicate increases. Allocations to U.S. bonds continued their slide.
At the same time, wealth managers have been moving more client assets into global equities, pointing to such favorable indicators as lower oil prices, a weaker euro and monetary stimulus programs.
One planner says that moving into European equities is a "long-run play on value." Another says that "foreign markets are an especially good value right now and mean reversion should occur soon. We also feel that as that happens the strong U.S. dollar may weaken and serve as an additional tailwind."
Some wealth managers, however, were less bullish on the eurozone's long-term prospects, saying that structural reforms were still necessary.
At least one advisor has been cautioning clients not to become too bullish. "Investors are cautious yet not wanting to miss out on the 'bull market.' Typical human nature, though I am glad they are comfortable in expressing themselves," this advisor said.