Forty percent of respondents to the CFA Institute's annual global market sentiment survey expect the global economy to expand next year, up from 34% a year ago.
Also, 50% of respondents expect equities to outperform all asset classes, up from 41%.
“By a very wide margin, they feel the place to be is in stocks, more specifically, U.S., China and Brazil,” said Kurt Schacht, managing director, standards and financial market integrity division, in a telephone interview.
Despite the rise in optimism, 98% of respondents reported what Mr. Schacht called “a serious lack of trust” in the financial industry. “The most important factor (56%) in the lack of trust was the lack of an ethical culture — the tone at the top. These are highly credentialed people saying it's the fact that these firms just are not paying attention.”
Survey respondents see a status quo for employment next year, with 49% expecting job opportunities to stay the same. “The good news is that it's not bad news — I think that's the watchword for 2013,” Mr. Schacht said.
The CFA Institute received responses from 6,783 chartered financial analysts, of whom 20% are portfolio managers and 13% are research analysts.