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Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Pulse Survey Reveals Bullish Sentiment Despite Drop in Optimism

(Graphic: Morgan Stanley Wealth Management)
(Graphic: Morgan Stanley Wealth Management)

Inflation, election concerns mount

NEW YORK, April 18, 2024--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Morgan Stanley Wealth Management today announced results from its quarterly individual investor pulse survey:

  • Bullishness remained steady. Three out of five investors (60%) are bullish this quarter—consistent with last quarter.

  • Fewer investors are optimistic about the economy. Roughly half (53%) agree that the Fed will be able to execute a "soft landing," down 7 percentage points from last quarter.

  • Yet, fewer investors are making changes to their portfolio. Half of investors (50%) said they do not plan to make any changes to their portfolios for the next six months, significantly more than last quarter (42%). Additionally, only 10% plan on moving out of their current positions and into cash, down 4% from Q1.

  • Inflation and election concerns have increased. Over half (53%) said that they were most concerned about inflation, up from 49%. Unease about the 2024 election ticked up to 31% from 26%.

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"The US stock market is coming off one of its strongest first quarters of the past 20 years, and so it should not be too large a surprise to see it pull back," said Chris Larkin, Managing Director, Head of Trading and Investing, E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley. "Yet despite economic uncertainty amid the revised pace of rate cuts for the year, along with uncertainty around the 2024 election, investors remain optimistic about the market."

The survey explored investor views on sector opportunities for the second quarter of 2024:

  • IT – Amid continued interest in chipmakers and AI, technology remained the top choice for investors this quarter.

  • Energy – After Q1 showed glimpses of recovery from 2023, interest in energy held steady as a second choice for investors as oil prices rallied to multi-month highs.

  • Health care – Perhaps utilized as a hedge, the traditionally defensive health care sector secured the third spot at 36%.

About the Survey

This wave of the survey was conducted from April 1 to April 17 of 2024 among an online US sample of 875 self-directed investors, investors who fully delegate investment account management to financial professionals, and investors who utilize both. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.20 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It was fielded and administered by Dynata. The panel is broken into three investable assets: less than $500k, between $500k to $1 million, and over $1 million. The panel is 60% male and 40% female and self-select as having moderate+ investing experience, with an even distribution across geographic regions, and age bands.

About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

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, cash management and lending products and services, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 42 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.

This has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument, or to participate in any trading strategy. This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice. It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor.

Morgan Stanley Portfolio Solutions are portfolios available in our Select UMA platform under either Firm Discretionary UMA or Managed Advisory Portfolio Solutions. Please see the Select UMA ADV at www.morganstanley.com/ADV

Past performance is not a guarantee or indicative of future performance. Historical data shown represents past performance and does not guarantee comparable future results.

This material contains forward-looking statements and there can be no guarantee that they will come to pass.
Diversification and asset allocation do not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in a declining financial market.

This material should not be viewed as investment advice or recommendations with respect to asset allocation or any particular investment.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the trade name of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, a registered broker-dealer in the United States.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and Dynata are not affiliates.
© 2024 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

Referenced Data

When it comes to the current market are you?

 

Q1’24

Q2’ 24

Bullish

60%

60%

Bearish

40%

40%

Please rate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements: The Fed will be able to steer the economy into a "soft landing."

 

Q1’24

Q2’24

Top 2

60%

53%

Strongly agree

17%

15%

Somewhat agree

43%

38%

Neither agree nor disagree

25%

26%

Somewhat disagree

12%

14%

Strongly disagree

3%

7%

Bottom 2

15%

21%

When it comes to your portfolio for the next six months are you considering any of the following strategies?

 

Q1’24

Q2 ‘24

Make no changes to my portfolio

42%

50%

Change the allocations in my portfolio

26%

24%

Move out of cash and in to new positions

18%

14%

Move out of current positions and in to cash

14%

10%

Other

0%

2%

Which of the following are you most concerned about when it comes to your portfolio? (Top 2)

 

Q1’24

Q2 ‘24

Inflation

49%

53%

2024 election

26%

31%

A recession

24%

20%

Market volatility

22%

22%

Geopolitical conflict

18%

16%

Earnings

16%

13%

Fed monetary policy

14%

10%

Energy costs

13%

13%

Narrow market driven by mega-caps

4%

3%

None

1%

2%

What industries do you think offer the most potential this quarter? (Top three)

Q1’24

Q2’24

Information technology

53%

52%

Energy

45%

43%

Health care

38%

36%

Real estate

29%

30%

Financials

28%

27%

Utilities

25%

24%

Communication services

20%

20%

Industrials

19%

20%

Consumer staples

18%

20%

Materials

14%

16%

Consumer discretionary

11%

12%

 

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240418137302/en/

Contacts

Media Relations Contact: Lynn Cocchiola, Lynn.Cocchiola@morganstanley.com