Morgan Stanley’s wealthy investors, more and more nervous about a fragile stock market, have been “reversing course” from high-flying stocks like Apple and Amazon and investing in hedge funds. This according to a recent article in Bloomberg.
The firm’s head of investment solutions in the wealth-management division, Ben Huneke, commented that as investing becomes more complicated and market volatility increases, hedge funds are seeing renewed interest as the affluent become more fearful that they may have to pay a bigger chunk of their gains to the government: “Everyone is looking ahead to the elections and what tax policy could look like in various administrations, not only presidential but congressional.”
Huneke said that low rates and rising share prices present a challenge for wealthy investors looking for attractive returns in stocks and bonds—thus encouraging them to seek alternatives including real estate and private equity (including hedge fund). The article reports that institutional investors have also channeled more money into hedge funds, which have been the favored asset class for institutions during the second half of this year (according to a survey by Credit Suisse Group AG).
“There’s definitely desire to stay long the equity markets on some level but have some downside protection,” said Huneke, who added, “Hedging is something people are thinking about as the market has appreciated so quickly.”