It is a cliché to say that the Swiss are big into hedge funds, but from the results of the latest research, it is absolutely true – when given the option to access an asset class via a long-only investment or to go long/short, around 50% chose the long/short route (see chart). This was way above the 15-20% average we see elsewhere.
Aside from that big structural difference, the investors in Zurich were reasonably close to the mood in the rest of the continent.
They were upbeat about the future, for instance – almost 60% said they were optimistic on the macroeconomic outlook, compared with less than 40% last year.
Europe trumps other regions
Everyone in Europe it seems agrees that European equities are still a good buy – and the switch to Europe is pretty consensual.
In Zurich, however, all the equity asset classes have lost out to Europe. Relative to 2012, half the number of investors were looking to increase their US equity weightings; same with Asia – a third fewer on more general EM stocks.
The only equity region to have improved in sentiment since last year is Japan – and, as you might imagine, it hasn’t improved much. Still way more people planned to sell than buy.
Credit back on the agenda
On the fixed income side, it’s a little mixed. While developed market govvies are still massively being sold, people were looking once again at credit. In 2012, everyone was happy to stay with their existing weightings, but this year almost 40% of investors were looking for more opportunities in the asset class.
Click here to see a slideshow of photos taken at Expert Investor Switzerland.
Platinum members can additionally view a full breakdown of the event voting data here, as well as long-term comparison graphs on the main asset classes here.