Investor Pulse

Investors Show Bullish Sentiment Despite Drop In Optimism

Inflation, election concerns mount

The Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Pulse Survey is a poll of 1,010 US high net worth (HNW) investors ages 25 to 75 years with $100,000 or more in investable household financial assets.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Morgan Stanley Wealth Management today announced results from its quarterly individual investor pulse survey:

  • Bullishness remained steady. Three out of five investors (60%) are bullish this quarter—consistent with last quarter.
  • Fewer investors are optimistic about the economy. Roughly half (53%) agree that the Fed will be able to execute a “soft landing,” down 7 percentage points from last quarter.


  • Yet, fewer investors are making changes to their portfolio. Half of investors (50%) said they do not plan to make any changes to their portfolios for the next six months, significantly more than last quarter (42%). Additionally, only 10% plan on moving out of their current positions and into cash, down 4% from Q1.
  • Inflation and election concerns have increased. Over half (53%) said that they were most concerned about inflation, up from 49%. Unease about the 2024 election ticked up to 31% from 26%.

“The US stock market is coming off one of its strongest first quarters of the past 20 years, and so it should not be too large a surprise to see it pull back,” said Chris Larkin, Managing Director, Head of Trading and Investing, E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley. “Yet despite economic uncertainty amid the revised pace of rate cuts for the year, along with uncertainty around the 2024 election, investors remain optimistic about the market.”

The survey explored investor views on sector opportunities for the second quarter of 2024:

  • IT – Amid continued interest in chipmakers and AI, technology remained the top choice for investors this quarter.
  • Energy – After Q1 showed glimpses of recovery from 2023, interest in energy held steady as a second choice for investors as oil prices rallied to multi-month highs.
  • Health Care – Perhaps utilized as a hedge, the traditionally defensive health care sector secured the third spot at 36%.




About The Survey
This wave of the survey was conducted from April 1 to April 17 of 2024 among an online US sample of 875 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 three 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 42 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit