The Pulse

Investors Remain Optimistic For 2023 Despite Dim Near-Term Views

Investors still see opportunity for a soft landing and expect the economy to be in better shape by year end

A new survey Morgan Stanley Wealth Management measures investor pulse in 2023.

January 31, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time–NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Morgan Stanley Wealth Management today announced results from its quarterly individual investor pulse survey:

  • Bearish views remain. More than half (52%) of investors said they were bearish this quarter, down slightly (3%) from last quarter. And the majority (89%) of investors expect volatility to sustain or increase this quarter.


  • Inflation and recession fears are top of mind. Even though more than half of investors (55%) believe inflation has peaked and will begin to slow, nearly two in three (64%) said they think it is the biggest risk when it comes to their portfolio. Recession risk (49%) and market volatility (44%) rounded out the top three.
  • Though less believe we are in a recession. More than one in three (40%) of investors said they believe we are currently in the recession stage of the business cycle, 5 percentage points less than last quarter.
  • And many believe in a “soft landing.” Over half (51%) of investors said the Fed will be able to steer the economy into a soft landing, and nearly two in three (64%) said the U.S. economy will be in better shape than it currently is by the end of this year.

“It’s been a challenging market environment as investors navigate through high inflation, geopolitical concerns, and recession fears,” said Mike Loewengart, Head of Model Portfolio Construction for Morgan Stanley Portfolio Solutions. “While these challenges aren’t likely to disperse anytime soon, it’s important for investors, where appropriate, to remain committed to their plan and consider the diversification of their portfolio. Moving money to the sidelines may sound tempting, but for investors with a lengthier time horizon, staying the course may be beneficial in the long run.”

The survey explored investor views on sector opportunities for the first quarter of 2023:

  • Energy – Amid geopolitical concerns and hopes of a China rebound, half (50%) of investors see more opportunity in this volatile but top performing sector of 2022.
  • Health care – Many investors (40%) see opportunity in this historically defensive sector as they look to shore up their portfolios.
  • IT – Over one in three (35%) investors may see a bargain opportunity in IT amid rising rates typically weighing on tech stocks and their valuations.





About the Survey
This wave of the survey was conducted from January 3 to January 23 of 2023 among an online US sample of 906 self-directed investors, investors who fully delegate investment account management to financial professionals, and investors who utilize both. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.20 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It was fielded and administered by Dynata. The panel is broken into thirds investable assets: less than $500k, between $500k to $1 million, and over $1 million. The panel is 60% male and 40% female and self-select as having moderate+ investing experience, with an even distribution across geographic regions, and age bands.
About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a global leader, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, cash management and lending products and services, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit


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