Wealthy are pessimistic on growth ahead

Marion Dakers
WEALTHY investors in the UK are among the most pessimistic in the world, according to a survey by Barclays Wealth due to be published today.

Just 16 per cent of people in the UK with more than £1m to invest believe the global economy will grow in the next five years, compared to four in ten Spanish investors. And the polarised high net worth community is struggling to find safe investments.

Globally, just over a fifth of the 2,000 wealthy investors surveyed feel confident in government bonds delivering positive returns in the next year – compared to a third who think alternative investments such as wine are a safe place to invest.

Property remains the favourite nest egg both globally and at home, with half of respondents believing it will perform well in the next twelve months. However, fewer than one in ten people surveyed in Spain and Ireland believe property will provide returns this year.

Nearly all said they remain cautious over their savings, with 43 per cent checking their investments more frequently since the downturn, and almost a third reading the financial press more often.

Rich investors remain much less hopeful than economists about the state of the global economy.

Only a quarter predict growth in the next twelve months, compared to three-quarters of economists.

Michael Dicks, chief economist at Barclays Wealth, puts this gloom down to uncertainty over public spending.

“It is most likely they fear that the high, and rising, burden of public debts may make it increasingly difficult for policymakers to keep the recovery on the road,” he said.