As advisors prepare new strategies for 2012, they can expect to hear broad skepticism from clients about nearly everything on the market, judging from a recent MFS Investing Sentiment Survey.
Pretty much every asset class lost respect throughout the year—not only U.S. and international stocks and stock mutual funds, but also corporate and government bonds and bond mutual funds, plus real estate. The investment value of cash and cash equivalents rose, barely, by October, according to the survey. (See chart below.)
"As we have noted in past findings, the blow to investors' psyches from the Great Recession is longer-lasting than many financial advisors may have expected," William Finnegan, senior managing director and head of U.S. retail marketing for MFS, said in a statement. "As we begin 2012, investors and their financial advisors need to reconsider their asset allocation, assess their true risk tolerance, separate out fear, and re-think their overall approach to investing for their long-term goals."
The survey, conducted by Research Collaborative, polled 929 individual investors with $100,000 or more in investable assets. It was done online from Sept. 28 to Oct. 13.