High Net Worth Investors Optimistic About 2015

93% Expect Same or Better Investment Portfolios; See Technology as Top Sector, U.S. as Top Market; Asset Allocation Continues to Favor Equities

New York —

Morgan Stanley today announced that over nine in 10 high net worth investors (93%) expect their investment portfolios to stay constant or improve in 2015, with nearly half (48%) expecting improvement.

Continuing optimism was a key finding of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s semi-annual Investor Pulse Poll, which surveys a national sample of investors with investable assets of $100,000 or more, a third of whom have assets exceeding $1 million.  Among this group, a majority (53%) see the investment climate remaining constant, while those expecting a worse (22%) or better (23%) climate were evenly split.

Topping the list of investor concerns was increased foreign conflicts (86%), followed by effects of terrorism on the U.S. (81%), the government budget deficit (80%) and U.S. income inequality (79%).

Favored sectors: technology, bio-tech, pharma

High net worth investors see technology as the top sector for investment in 2015 (87% “good”), followed by bio-tech (75%), pharmaceuticals (71%), energy (69%) and healthcare (65%).

Least favored sectors are consumer discretionary (26% “good”), followed by aerospace (29%), insurance (31%), entertainment (32%) and tourism (33%).

U.S. is favored market; least favorites are Ukraine, Middle East and Russia

When considering where to put their money in 2015, high net worth investors far and away favor the U.S. (74% “good”), followed by Japan (42%), India (40%) and China (38%).

Reflecting current geopolitical turmoil, three in four high net worth investors consider the Middle East (76%), Ukraine (75%) and Russia (75%) to be undesirable places to invest.

Asset allocation continues to favor equities

High net worth investors will allocate 44% of their investment portfolios to equities in 2015, and that allocation is even higher for millionaires (49%).

These investors see the remainder of their portfolios split roughly equally between cash (21%), fixed income (18%) and “other” investments (17%).

The Investor Pulse Poll surveyed 1,008 high net worth investors during the fourth quarter of 2014.  High net worth investors account for 94% of total U.S. household investable assets by value, according to Federal Reserve data.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a global leader, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, banking and lending, cash management, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services. 

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services.  With offices in more than 43 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals.  For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

Christy Jockle, 914.225.6827 / Margaret Draper, 914.225.6369

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