2017 Top 10 Investment Ideas

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Dec 06, 2016 05:31 AM EST

The likes of Brexit, the U.S. election result, and key upcoming votes in Europe are likely to make investors more uncertain, not less. In a recent survey, a quarter of UBS's Industry Leader Network of entrepreneur clients cited the political landscape as the biggest potential change for their business in 2017 - a greater proportion than for any other factor.

The broader backdrop should be positive for investors next year. Global GDP growth should rise from 3.1 percent to 3.5 percent, driven partly by pro-growth policies in the U.S. Inflation should pick up.

U.S. and European monetary policy should remain accommodating, while China is likely to ensure its economic slowdown remains gradual. This should benefit select U.S. and emerging market investments. Investors should also look at income-paying and alternative assets as high-grade bond returns come under pressure.

Here are the UBS Wealth Management's Top 10 investment ideas for the year 2017.

1.       U.S. equities. U.S. earnings should rise 8 percent next year, fueled by the stabilization in oil prices, accommodative monetary policy and possible fiscal stimulus.

2.       Select equity sector. For U.S. investors, U.S. financials and healthcare should benefit from less burdensome regulation; while U.S. tech should experience tailwinds from new areas of spending like cloud computing. For non-U.S. investors, Asia Pacific real estate investment trusts offer attractive yields relative to government bonds when compared with global averages.

3.       Emerging market equities. Low global interest rates and stabilizing GDP growth and commodity prices should provide a continuing boost next year.

4.       Select emerging market currencies. Depressed global rates also help make higher-yielding emerging market currencies - the South African rand, the Brazilian real, the Russian ruble, and the Indian rupee - attractive compared with developed market peers that are also sensitive to fluctuations in global growth - namely, the Australian and Canadian dollars and the Swedish krone.

5.       Yield enhancers. For taxable U.S. investors, selective holdings in quality U.S. municipal bonds will continue to play an important role despite potential post-election tax changes. Non-U.S. investors should consider companies offering reliable incomes in the Eurozone, Japan, and Switzerland, where high-grade bond yields remain ultra-low.

6.       U.S. senior loans. The asset class currently yields 4 percentage points more than investment-grade corporate bonds, making it attractive even if default rates rise to long-run averages.

7.       U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. TIPs should benefit from potential fiscal stimulus and higher wage growth, in addition to the stabilization of commodity prices.

8.       Underweight position in nominal U.S. Treasuries. Despite the post-election dip, prices remain under threat from upward trends in inflation and rates.

9.       Select commodity-related investments. For U.S. investors, master limited partnerships offer relatively attractive incomes and should benefit from growing oil & gas production and infrastructure development. For non-U.S. investors, precious metals palladium and platinum should be supported by a rise in industrial activity, political uncertainty and declining real rates.

10.    Alternative investments. In 2017, returns from listed equities and bonds will probably be moderate. Select investments within hedge funds and private markets, whose returns are less correlated to listed assets, are likely to help diversify portfolios.

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