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Alternative Market Briefing

Survey: Nonprofit investors raise concerns about global trade war

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

A new survey from Commonfund shows that nonprofit investors are concerned about the recent shift in US trade policy. Reflecting recent headlines, 42 percent of survey respondents cited trade wars and protectionism as the greatest risk to the global economy and markets over the coming 12-24 months. While a majority of respondents remain optimistic for their own organizations, they were more apprehensive when asked about their expectations for U.S. markets in the near term. More than half (58 percent) of all respondents expect the S&P 500 Total Return Index for year-end 2018 to underperform compared to its 20-year annual average of 7 percent.

The survey includes responses from 200 investors representing endowments, foundations and other institutions.

In addition to the potential for a trade war, investors were concerned about rising interest rates (23 percent) and an asset bubble in a major economy (18 percent). 70 percent of respondents are "somewhat concerned" about the likelihood of a 20 percent correction in the U.S. stock market over the next 24 months, while only 9 percent are not at all concerned.

In response to growing headwinds, investors are looking globally for new opportunities. Nearly half (49 percent) of all respondents believe emerging markets present the greatest private capital opportunity today, ahead of U.S. private equity (27 percent), venture capital (16 percent) and natural resources (8 percent).


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