The big takeaway from Wilmington Trust’s 2011-2017 capital markets forecast briefing on Tuesday in New York City is that the global economy is continuing to recover slowly, with real estate and employment under pressure.

“The future is foggier than usual,” said Rex Macey, senior vice president and chief investment officer for Wilmington Trust’s Wealth Advisory Services business, at the lunch briefing. “This is not the time for betting big. It’s a time for patience.”

Now is not the time to get rich quickly. Wilmington Trust favors balanced allocations as volatility persists, said Macey. At the same time, investment grade bonds don’t look attractive given low yields. And there is still plenty of risk ahead. “We are still not safe from a double dip recession,” he explained.

After all the chaos of the last few years, investors have finally woken up and are paying attention. Securities tend to be fairly priced, said Macey. For now, expect subdued growth, dormant inflation, continued high unemployment, and depressed real estate for years to come.

The forecast emphasizes the importance of portfolio diversification, including global equities, commodities, inflation-linked bonds, real estate, and hedged strategies. Wilmington Trust believes inflation to rise on average about 1.5% annually, or roughly half of its historical level, due to low inflation, excess capacity, and high unemployment.

While income equities will produce more income than bonds, price volatility in stocks will remain, said Macey. In the meantime, Wilmington Trust expects international equities, both in developed and emerging markets, to outperform U.S. equities in the next seven years, though their gains are expected to be modest compared to historical returns and there is expected to be greater volatility.


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