Slideshow How HNW clients are investing today

  • June 07 2016, 1:22pm EDT
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Searching for silver linings

Many investors say they are nervous about the direction of this year’s financial markets, causing them to favor lower risk profiles, according to the annual U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth survey.

The nation's ultrawealthy 1%, however, are more optimistic about returns in 2016, the study suggests. They keep their liquid positions high for opportunistic purposes, whether it's buying in a down market or on a rising trend.

Click through our slideshow and learn more about the investing characteristics and nuances of the very rich.

Pessimism grows with age

Among all asset classes, baby boomers and older investors gravitate toward tangible assets most.

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HNW investors seek balanced, risk-managed growth

Six in 10 HNW respondents say it's more important to reduce their risk even if it means lower returns. This disciplined, risk-managed approach to investing has been followed by HNW individuals fairly consistently over the past five years, according to the study.

Asset protection overtakes growth as priority

In light of recent market turbulence, it is unsurprising that HNW clients are shifting their priorities toward wealth protection as a higher investment priority than growth. This is the first time such a pronounced shift has occurred since 2012, the study suggests.

Near-term opportunities gain importance

Wealthy clients stay focused on their future financial security, lifestyle in retirement, legacy planning and generational wealth transfer.

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Basic approach yields greatest returns

A vast majority of HNW investors made the bulk of their investment gains through traditional stocks and bonds, as well as long-term buy and hold strategies.

Alternative, non-correlated strategies driven by millennial and Gen X investors.

Almost half of HNW investors own tangible assets such as land, investment real estate, timber and farmland.

Liquidity is key

Nearly six in 10 HNW investors keep more than 10% of their investment portfolio in cash positions.

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High cash positions do not necessarily mean conservatism

Contrary to popular belief, HNW clients are not keeping cash because they are uncertain of the markets. In fact, they prefer to hold cash so they are ready to jump on investing opportunities during rising or falling markets, the study says.