Stocktake: Fund managers still bullish on stocks

Investors are more overweight stocks than bonds than any time since February 2011

Fund managers remain bullish, but ordinary investors are spooked.

Bank of America’s latest fund manager survey shows the percentage of investors underweight stocks is at all-time lows. Investors are more overweight stocks than bonds than at any time since February 2011. They’re especially keen on European stocks – 81 per cent predict a gain of at least 5-10 per cent this year.

The mood among retail investors is different. The latest American Association of Individual Investors poll shows bears greatly outnumbering bulls, with bearishness at levels unseen since July 2020. Indeed, sentiment is near March 2020’s panic lows and close to that seen in December 2018, when stocks fell 20 per cent.

2022’s pullback has been comparatively modest, but ordinary investors are clearly unnerved.