We ran the sentiment survey in the second and third week of January. By this point, Trump’s shock election as president of the US was beginning to sink in, but he had yet to take office. The run-up to his inauguration and cabinet/adviser appointments were front-page news.
In all, we there were 82 responses to the survey. Fund groups represented 67%, platforms 31% and distributors 2%.
The audience was mainly British with 78% of respondents defining themselves as UK-based and the rest cross-border or international.
Interestingly, there was a significant dichotomy between the positive expectations for 2017 (answers to the multiple choice questions) and the pessimistic concerns voiced in the open questions.
Overwhelmingly, the geopolitical environment and specifically Brexit, Trump and forthcoming elections in Europe were the main concern.
At the time of writing, the fixed income rotation into equity was in full swing and stock-market indices had hit all-time highs.
THE UK WAS LEFT REELING BY THE BREXIT VOTE. RESPONDENTS ARE FEARFUL FOR THE FUTURE.
Ordinarily, the June sentiment survey would have been conducted Mid June and the results provided a week later, but we decided to wait for the EU referendum on 23rd June. The shock result left everyone reeling, and this sentiment survey specifically explored fund groups, platforms and distributors' immediate reactions to the result.
There were a total of 80 responses in June. Of these, 53% were from fund groups, 35% from platforms, 5% were distributors (advisers, wealth managers etc) and the rest were banks and life companies. Most respondents were UK-based, although 16% said they were cross-border or domestic European fund providers.
Following the UK’s historic vote in favour of leaving the EU which stunned the European political establishment and caused financial market turmoil around the world, concerns over the health of the UK property sector, which first arose in the run up to the referendum, have intensified.