New research from Barclays Smart Investor this week reveals that investors have headed into 2022 feeling optimistic about the year ahead.
Nearly two thirds of British investors (62 per cent) are confident that their portfolio will perform well this year.
Half (49 per cent) of investors say that the market fluctuations since lockdown mean they are more likely to invest more in the stock market this year – a considerable increase since last year when just one in four (24 per cent) said they are likely to.
Along with the confidence in the market has come increasing involvement, with half of investors (49 per cent) saying they have become more actively engaged in their portfolio as a result of the past 12 months, a considerable rise from last year, when just 12 per cent said the same.
The trend for socially responsible investing continues to increase, with almost one third of investors (30 per cent) saying they are now more conscious of the types of businesses and industries that they are funding – double the number (15 per cent) of last year.
Cryptocurrency tops the list of sectors where investors think there’ll be opportunities in 2022, with 55% of respondents saying they believed it offered good opportunities, followed by technology, with 50%.
When it comes to geographical regions, 36% of respondents see the UK as offering the greatest opportunities, followed by emerging markets (32 per cent) and the US (31 per cent).
Investors are also conscious of the challenges their portfolios may face this year. The most common concern was inflation, with 43 percent saying they are worried about it, followed by interest rate increases (42 per cent), new Covid-19 variants (34 per cent) and the continued impact of Brexit (31 per cent).
Will Hobbs, Chief Investment Officer at Barclays Wealth & Investments said:
“As we start the new year it is great to see so many people feeling optimistic about the markets and keen to invest. With concerns about inflation persisting, people are right to look to the stock market as one of the ways they can preserve spending power over time.
“As always, diversification is key to more reliable investing success. The future will remain unpredictable as the last few years have demonstrated. As the world changes, the areas of the stock market that may prosper over the next five or 10 years will not necessarily be same as the previous decade. The same is true of other investible asset classes, from government bonds to commodities – the leader board for the years ahead could look entirely different to the one in our rear view mirror.
“To give your money the greatest chance of growing, spread the bulk of it out across different sectors, regions and asset classes and leave it there for at least five years. If you want to have more fun with your portfolio by backing individual companies you believe in or investing in cryptocurrencies, which are unregulated, remember this is high risk so do so with a smaller share of your money and see it as garnishing.”
Top fund picks for 2022, according to Ian Aylward, Head of Fund Selection and Responsible Investing at Barclays Wealth & Investments:
- Findlay Park American
- Schroder Securitised Credit
- Jupiter UK Mid Cap
- Janus Henderson Absolute Return
- Blackrock European Dynamic