Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Pulse Survey Reveals Growing Investor Optimism

New York –

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management today announced results from its quarterly individual investor pulse survey:

  • Amid signs of cooling inflation, investor optimism ticks up. Over half (54%) believe that inflation will reach normal levels by the end of the year, up 4 percentage points quarter over quarter. 54% think the Fed will navigate a “soft landing”, up 7 percentage points from Q2, and more think that the economy is healthy enough for the Fed to enact additional rate hikes this quarter—up 3 percentage points to 48%.
  • Bullishness prevails. Over half (55%) of investors are bullish on the quarter—up 3 percentage points from Q2. And more believe that the market will end in the green this quarter with 58% predicting a rise, 10 percentage points higher than last quarter.
  • But inflation remains the top concern. Over half (52%) said high inflation is a top concern when it comes to their portfolio, followed by a recession (31%), and market volatility (26%).
  • And views on elevated volatility remain high. 91% of investors believe that volatility will increase or stay the same this quarter, up 2 percentage points since last quarter.

“Despite a recent market rise, investor uncertainties abound,” said Mike Loewengart, Head of Model Portfolio Construction for Morgan Stanley Portfolio Solutions. “We’re beginning to witness a slow shift happening in the investing landscape as we narrow in on the potential end to the Fed’s rate hike campaign. But inflation is still very much a part of the conversation and should factor into long-term investing decisions. That said, for those who were enticed to move into cash over the last year or two, consider the purchasing power risks. Investors are missing out on capital appreciation if they’re sitting on the sidelines, and most cannot time the market. Bottom line, maintaining a diversified portfolio across asset classes and investments provides the fundamental framework for a long-term investing strategy and can help weather all market conditions.”

The survey explored investor views on sector opportunities for the third quarter of 2023:

  • IT – With artificial intelligence centerstage, technology moved into the top position for investing opportunities this quarter, with over half (51%) eyeing the sector—up 9 percentage points from Q2.
  • Energy – Investors may be hunting for bargains in this recently depressed sector, with 43% showing interest.
  • Health care – As investors brace for a potential economic slowdown, interest in health care remains high (34%) as investors typically view this area of the market as a defensive play.

About the Survey

This wave of the survey was conducted from July 5 to July 20 of 2023 among an online US sample of 909 self-directed investors, investors who fully delegate investment account management to financial professionals, and investors who utilize both. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.20 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It was fielded and administered by Dynata. The panel is broken into thirds investable assets: less than $500k, between $500k to $1 million, and over $1 million. The panel is 60% male and 40% female and self-select as having moderate+ investing experience, with an even distribution across geographic regions, and age bands.

About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a global leader, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, cash management and lending products and services, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 42 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

This has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument, or to participate in any trading strategy. This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice. It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor.

Morgan Stanley Portfolio Solutions are portfolios available in our Select UMA platform under either Firm Discretionary UMA or Managed Advisory Portfolio Solutions. Please see the Select UMA ADV at

Past performance is not a guarantee or indicative of future performance. Historical data shown represents past performance and does not guarantee comparable future results.

This material contains forward-looking statements and there can be no guarantee that they will come to pass.

Diversification and asset allocation do not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in a declining financial market.

This material should not be viewed as investment advice or recommendations with respect to asset allocation or any particular investment.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the trade name of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, a registered broker-dealer in the United States.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and Dynata are not affiliates.

© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC#5815171 07/2023

Referenced Data

Please rate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements: Inflation will continue to slow, and we will reach normal levels of inflation by the end of the year.
Top 250%54%
Strongly agree17%18%
Somewhat agree33%36%
Neither agree nor disagree22%21%
Somewhat disagree19%17%
Strongly disagree9%8%
Please rate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements: The Fed will be able to steer the economy into a “soft landing.”
Top 247%54%
Strongly agree12%15%
Somewhat agree35%39%
Neither agree nor disagree30%24%
Somewhat disagree15%15%
Strongly disagree8%7%
Please rate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements: The U.S. economy is healthy enough for the Fed to enact additional rate hikes this quarter.
Top 245%48%
Strongly agree15%18%
Somewhat agree30%30%
Neither agree nor disagree24%25%
Somewhat disagree22%21%
Strongly disagree9%6%
When it comes to the current market are you?
Where do you predict the market will end this quarter?
Rise 20%2%3%
Rise 15%6%8%
Rise 10%13%18%
Rise 5%27%29%
Stay where it is (0%)17%16%
Drop 5%22%17%
Drop 10%10%6%
Drop 15%2%3%
Drop 20%1%
Which of the following are you most concerned about when it comes to your portfolio? (Top 2)
High inflation52%
A recession31%
Market volatility26%
Fed monetary policy16%
Energy costs15%
Russia/Ukraine conflict11%
Banking sector turmoil10%
Narrow market driven by tech dominance4%
Over the next quarter, do you think volatility will…
Top 389%91%
Greatly increase15%16%
Somewhat increase40%40%
Stay the same34%35%
Somewhat decrease11%9%
Greatly decrease
What industries do you think offer the most potential this quarter(Top three)
Information technology42%51%
Health care38%34%
Real estate29%30%
Consumer staples23%22%
Communication services19%18%
Consumer discretionary11%14%

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