Reuters Poll: Allocations Steady in February As U.S. Managers Adopt Wait-And-See Approach

Feb 28 2017 | 8:00pm ET

 By Shrutee Sarkar (Reuters) - U.S. fund managers made no significant changes to their recommended model global portfolio in February, instead waiting for clearer signs on the world economy and follow-through on President Donald Trump's policy proposals, a Reuters poll found.

Global equity allocations accounted for an average 52.3 percent, essentially unchanged from 52.2 percent in the previous month, with bonds also static at 35.6 percent versus 35.7 percent, according to the latest poll of 13 fund managers.

Those recommendations, which aren't far off where they were in November, stand in contrast with around a 10 percent rally in the Standard & Poor's 500 and about a 30 basis point rise in benchmark bond yields since Trump's shock election victory.

U.S. fund managers have maintained mostly steady recommendations for the past year, suggesting an ongoing defensive holding pattern ahead of several events scheduled over the next few months that could weigh on the global economy.

"While we are cautiously positive and continue to favor equities over bonds, we are not blinded to the multiple risks facing global growth and the markets," wrote Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Investments.

"In addition, the pace and character of FOMC monetary policy is uncertain given the more optimistic tenor emerging in the latest discussions. Globally, Brexit discussions are slated to begin officially in the coming months, and elections in the Netherlands, France, and Germany are almost certain to generate renewed populist and anti-EU sentiment."

Financial markets have already priced in a lot of positive news from Trump's promises on sweeping tax cuts for individuals and businesses, as well as infrastructure spending, and this has pushed U.S. stocks to record highs.

Trump is due to outline his plans in more detail in a speech to Congress later on Tuesday.

"Optimism regarding a new wave of business-friendly policies and regulations may be blunted by the realities of Washington politics," RidgeWorth's Gayle added.

Fund managers kept allocations to cash, property and alternative investments steady too.


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