A UBS Wealth Management Americas survey released on Friday reveals that investors may be more worried about the debt ceiling crisis than politicians are aware.

The survey, which polled 1,000 affluent investors, found that 40% won’t pour money into the stock market until the U.S. debt ceiling issue is resolved. In addition, the optimism many investors were feeling about the economy has been all but wiped out by the ongoing debt ceiling crisis, with 60% of those polled now pessimistic about the short-term economic outlook.

The survey asked investors what worries then about their financial goals. Sixty-five percent said the size of the U.S. debt, up from 59% in April. Meanwhile, 40% reported being highly worried about the country defaulting on its debt.

“Whether we’re talking to and advising a corporate chief executive, a high net worth investor or a small business owner, it’s clear that uncertainty over the US debt has frozen everyone in their tracks when it comes to actively participating in the market,” said Robert J. McCann, UBS WMA Chief Executive Officer, in a press release. “What our clients need now is someone they trust to help them navigate this uncertainty and help them understand the issues affecting this economy.”

A similar poll in April revealed 53% of respondents to be optimistic about the short-term outlook for the U.S. economy, while 27% remained pessimistic. Friday’s survey found that 60% are now pessimistic about the outlook, while 21% are optimistic.

The survey was conducted online by Research Now on behalf of UBS among 1,000 investors from July 27-28, 2011. Respondents have at least $250,000 in investable assets (excludes real estate and private business assets), with 50% of respondents having at least $1,000,000 in investable assets.




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