Half of world's wealthy bracing for huge sell-off in 2020, UBS says

A majority of the wealthiest investors in the world are preparing for a huge market sell-off in 2020, according to a new report released by UBS Wealth.

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More than half of the 3,400 high-net-worth individuals surveyed by UBS said they think there will be a significant market sell-off before the end of next year, according to the report, which was conducted between August and October.

“The rapidly changing geopolitical environment is the biggest concern for investors around the world,” Paula Polito, client strategy officer at UBS GWM, said in a statement. “They see global interconnectivity and reverberations of change impacting their portfolios more than traditional business fundamentals, a marked change from the past.”

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Overall, almost fourth-fifths -- 79 percent -- expect volatility to increase next year, with almost 72 percent characterizing the investment environment as “more challenging” than five years ago.

President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In part, that’s because 66 percent of respondents believed the market to be driven more by geopolitics than by fundamentals. Top concerns for the ultra-wealthy included the 16-month-long U.S.-China trade conflict and the upcoming presidential elections.

INVESTORS LOOK TO TRUMP SPEECH FOR PROGRESS ON CHINA TRADE DEAL

Last week, stocks hit record highs, boosted by optimism about the possibility of a trade deal between the world’s two largest economies. But stocks fell on Monday amid concerns the countries are struggling to complete a phase one of a trade deal.

Still, despite the reservations about the year ahead, 69 percent of respondents said they were optimistic on investment returns over the next decade -- a trend most evident in millennials and other young investors.

The investors surveyed by UBS have at least $1 million in investable assets.

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