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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

CITI: Rich Families Are Hoarding Cash

•, Lawrence Delevingne
 Wealthy families have about 39 percent of their assets in cash, according to a recent poll of more than 50 large family office representatives from 20 countries conducted by Citi Private Bank.

Stocks represented about 25 percent of portfolios on average. Bonds were about 17 percent of the asset mix and various classes of less liquid and alternative investments amounted to 19 percent.

"Using these weightings, our own return expectation for the portfolio … comes to just 4.4 percent. This matches what we at Citi Private Bank observe generally among high end investors: very high cash holdings, with a current asset allocation unlikely to achieve return targets," Steven Wieting, the bank's global chief investment strategist, wrote in a recent client note.

Most of the families surveyed expected interest rates to rise. About 60 percent projected long-term market rates to rise 50 basis points and 17 percent said they would increase 100 basis points or more. Just 2 percent expected U.S. rates to fall.

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