Investors, plagued by mounting pessimism, have sought refuge in cash, according to a recent survey conducted by Bank of America. The survey highlights a notable 5.6% increase in cash reserves during May, as apprehensive investors brace themselves for a potential credit crunch and a recession.
Flight to Safety: Investors Increase Cash Reserves and Brace for Recession
Investors are increasingly gravitating towards cash reserves, as indicated by a recent survey conducted by BOFA, which characterizes this movement as a “flight to safety” in the realm of financial transactions. Notably, stock exposure has attained its peak so far in 2023, while BOFA further highlights that bond allocations have reached their highest level since 2009.
Between May 5-11, BOFA’s researchers conducted the survey by engaging with over 250 global fund managers overseeing over $650 billion in assets. According to the BOFA poll, sentiment is souring and taking a bearish turn, with concerns looming over a possible recession and credit crisis.
BofA's Fund Manager Survey's most “crowded trades”
long big tech (32%)
short banks (22%)
short US dollar (16%) pic.twitter.com/wQ1PNl5Q5U
— Jonathan Ferro (@FerroTV) May 16, 2023
Approximately 65% of the global fund managers surveyed expressed a belief in the likelihood of an economic downturn. When it comes to the U.S. debt ceiling, a significant majority of the investors polled anticipate its increase by a specific date. However, even though most fund managers expect a resolution, the percentage of investors holding such expectations has declined from 80% to 71%.
The survey notes investors are gripped by apprehension over the prospects of a global recession and the potential for a giant interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve as a means to quell persistent inflationary pressures.
Fund managers also harbor concerns regarding escalating tensions among major nations and the risk of a contagion in the banking credit system. In addition, BOFA’s research revealed the most heavily populated stocks, with long tech trades claiming the top spot on the list.
Among the other crowded trades were bets against the U.S. dollar and U.S. banks, while a substantial influx into tech stocks was witnessed, diverting attention from commodities and utilities.
Will this shift towards cash reserves be enough to weather the storm, or are investors overlooking other potential opportunities? Share your thoughts about this subject in the comments section below.