The world’s super rich are bracing themselves for a rocky year ahead, with many high net worth investors holding cash in their portfolios as a result.
Almost four in five wealthy investors think that markets are heading towards a period of higher volatility.
Wealthy investors still hold 25 per cent of their portfolios in cash, according to the new report from UBS, while 60 per cent said that they would consider increasing that level further.
Caution among the super-rich comes after a year of uncertainty in many global markets, with the US-China trade war, unrest in Hong Kong and Brexit delays all denting confidence.
“The rapidly changing geopolitical environment is the biggest concern for investors around the world,” said Paula Polito, client strategy officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.
Polito added: “They see global interconnectivity and reverberations of change impacting their portfolios more than traditional business fundamentals, a marked change from the past.”
According to the findings, 69 per cent of respondents said they were still optimistic on investment returns over the decade ahead.
Almost 85 per cent said that they were highly interested in aligning their portfolios with mega-trends and 83 per cent expressed interest in sustainable investing, compared with 30 per cent of those aged 51 or older in both instances.
The UBS report comes days after the Swiss banking giant also released research on the success of billionaires over the last 12 months.
The lender said that the boom in billionaires had slowed down in the last year in the wake of widespread political upheaval.
While the Americas saw a slight wealth increase this year, led by prominent US tech billionaires, in Asia the number of billionaires edged down after five years of sharp growth.
Women are also joining the ultra-rich ranks in greater numbers, according to the findings from UBS and PwC, with the number of female billionaires growing by 46 per cent in the last five years.