About 57% of investors expect stocks to be among the top performing asset classes, followed by real estate (52%) and precious metals (39%).
“Many markets around the world have enjoyed strong performance over the past several years,” said Ed Perks, chief investment officer of Franklin’s equity group.
“Investors are optimistic, but that may not be based on a solid understanding of the markets’ performance. It’s more critical now than ever to really understand the underlying value of individual companies, industries and countries as we are likely to encounter some rough patches ahead,” Perks said.
While stocks are viewed as providing the best potential returns both in the near term and long-term, investors also view the asset class as the riskiest in 2015 and over the next 10 years.
Accordingly, nearly 94% of global investors ranked the importance of risk management expertise as “somewhat to very important”.
Eyeing other markets
More than two-thirds of global investors believe the best equity and fixed income returns will be found outside their home country.
European investors were the least likely to choose their home country, with only 16% choosing it for equity investments and 20% for fixed income investments.
However, investors in the US and Asia-Pacific showed a home bias.
“In Asia Pacific we see a conservative trend reflected in investors’ preference for markets closer to home,” said Mark Browning, managing director of Asia.
“There is an optimism reinforced by the strong equity and fixed income economic fundamentals in Asia and emerging markets, compared with the slower growth and overall volatility of certain developed markets.”
Asia-Pacific investors said saving for retirement is their first priority followed by buying a new property. On the other hand, global investors ranked retirement, planning a vacation, and being prepared for emergencies as their priorities.
A majority of global investors (81%) are optimistic about reaching their financial goals with the highest levels of optimism coming from India, the United Arab Emirates and China.
Franklin Templeton carried out the survey of 11,500 investors in 23 countries during 12 February to 2 March. In Asia-Pacific, 4002 investors were polled for the survey.