Confident Investors Predict Shares to Offer Best Returns In 2009

Investor confidence remains in the stock market, according to research from Barclays Stockbrokers. When asked which asset class will generate the best returns in 2009, nearly two-thirds of investors (65%) put their confidence in shares. A further one in six (17%) are backing commodities for the best rate of returns this year. However, the poll reveals caution remains, with 15% of investors opted for gilts and bonds.

Barbara-Ann King, head of proposition at Barclays Stockbrokers, commented: “Despite the market volatility experienced over the past year it is encouraging to see our clients retain their confidence in the stock market for this year, with nearly two thirds predicting shares will generate the best returns of all asset classes in 2009. Nearly one fifth of investors put commodities in the front line for returns, recognising the opportunities in this sector. Not all clients are so bullish for the year though, 15% remain more cautious believing lower-risk gilts and bonds will offer the best returns this year.”

Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Stockbrokers, says: “So far in 2009, the world has turned out much as we suspected it would. There is clearly now a ‘brutal’ recession under way, which will see global GDP fall in the first half of the year, at least. Policymakers will have to use every tool in their toolbox to turn things around – and they may have to invent a few new ones too. But ultimately, they should manage to get the global economy back off its knees again.

Once the shoots of economic recovery start to appear, risky asset classes should recover somewhat. But that may be a story more for the second half of the year, or perhaps if we are lucky, the second quarter. In the meantime, it is probably best to remain defensive, but look to investment-grade credit as the first place to add risk.”


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