High Net Worth Investors Eye U.S. Stocks As Top Asset Class For 2013

Fidelity® Survey Reveals That Investors Expect Continued Growth in the Domestic Financial Markets

BOSTON – Fidelity Investments® today announced the results of a survey of customers with at least $250,000 in investable assets on a range of investment topics. The survey was taken during a recent “Fidelity Viewpoints®: Inside/Out” event in Atlanta on March 5.

The event, which was also broadcast to select Fidelity Investor Centers and via webcast nationwide, is part of an educational series that was launched in 2010. This program is designed to provide investors greater access to market insights from experts both inside and outside Fidelity. Key findings of the poll include:

Investors on Market Conditions
Return Expectations on the Increase – When stacking their gains against market averages in 2013, more high net worth investors expect to fare better than they did last year. Thirty-eight percent of investors expect to beat market averages, up from 31 percent in 2012, while only 15 percent expect to lag it, a vast improvement from last year’s laggards at 33 percent.
Moving to Equities – Nearly half (49 percent) of high net worth investors expect to increase their equity position in 2013 – by an average of 8 percent. Thirty-nine percent plan on keeping their position the same, and only 11 percent say they are going to decrease their equity position.

Investors on Investment Opportunities
U.S. Is Head of the Class – Over the next 12 months, 65 percent of high net worth investors chose U.S. equities as the asset class in which they expect to invest the most, far exceeding the nine percent who chose foreign equities, followed by corporate bonds at 6 percent.
Mid and Large Caps Top of Mind – Forty percent of high net worth investors believe that mid cap equities offer the greatest potential upside over the next 12 months, essentially equal to their interest in large cap equities at 39 percent, followed by still-strong interest in small cap equities (21 percent).
Sector Leaders – For the next 12 months, investors’ top choice (17 percent) for investing is the healthcare sector, followed by energy (15 percent) and information technology (13 percent).

Investors on Taxes and Inflation
Tax Increase Concerns – With the tax debate continuing to spark discussion in Congress, income tax increases are the most concerning for 34 percent of respondents, with capital gains tax increases second (25 percent).
Hedging Against Inflation – Seventy-six percent of high net worth investors are concerned about inflation as it impacts their portfolios. Thirty-five percent say the primary tactic to hedge against inflation is with increased equity allocation, followed by seeking higher yielding bonds (12 percent).

“It’s reassuring to know that some of the most high net worth investors are optimistic about the future of the U.S. equities markets, even in the face of continued uncertain economic conditions in the near term,” said John Sweeney, executive vice president for Fidelity Investments. “This tells us that these investors are in the right frame of mind in this environment as they work to seize meaningful opportunities for their portfolios.”

Investors who are evaluating investment strategies for today’s market conditions can read a new Fidelity Viewpoints® article based on the content shared by the expert panelists at the forum and entitled “Stocks hit new highs: What's next for investors?.” Additionally, video highlights from the event are available online. This content complements new guidance on managing taxes and inflation, which can be found at Viewpoints Special Report: Taxes.

About the Inside/Out Poll
The Fidelity Inside/Out Poll was conducted March 5, 2013 via a live webcast interface provided by On24. On average, 1,510 webcast attendees responded to each question and the majority has investable assets in excess of $250,000. On24 is not affiliated with Fidelity Investments. The experience of the affluent investors who responded to the Fidelity Inside/Out Poll may not be representative of the experiences of all investors.

About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.0 trillion, including managed assets of $1.7 trillion, as of January 31, 2013. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.

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