Advisers say clients are drastically cutting their asset allocations to U.S. equities as mounting concerns about political upheaval at home and abroad curtail risk tolerance.
The latest edition of the Global Asset Allocation Tracker shows allocations to domestic equities dropping to a record low. The survey, taken just prior to the presidential election, polled 311 planners. It also showed a slip in allocations to global equities, while allocations to bonds remained relatively flat.
Wealth managers say clients were sitting on cash and holding back on new allocations until they saw the U.S. election results. One planner reports advising clients “to put asset investments on hold until election results are in and analyzed."
Advisers also cited clients’ concerns about the uncertainty surrounding turmoil in international markets, notably the U.K.’s upcoming negotiations to exit the EU.
Yet despite the dip in allocations to global equities, some advisers say they see buying opportunities.
"Although international markets have been lagging in recent years, we see them as a great buying opportunity amid the stale growth of the U.S. markets," an adviser says.
A wealth manager expects valuations in emerging markets in particular to improve relative to those in U.S. markets.
Several planners also report they reminded clients about the benefits of focusing on the long term. After all, U.S. presidents are in office for a maximum of eight years, and clients’ investment horizons are typically much longer than that.
"My advice is to ride out the tough times, so you don't miss the initial rise as things get better," a planner says.