The firm’s quarterly Investor Sentiment survey, which polled more than 3,600 wealthy investors and entrepreneurs in 17 countries, pointed to a rebound in bullish sentiment in the first three months of 2019 as markets recovered from the late- 2018 slump.
While respondents held a large proportion of their assets in cash, many expressed willingness to invest it, results showed.
51% of investor respondents were said to be optimistic on the global economy versus 21% who were pessimistic.
Business owners were especially positive, with 62% optimistic and 15% pessimistic.
Even more – 60% of investors and 68% of business owners – expressed optimism on their own region’s economy.
Investors were also bullish on stocks, with 56% expressing optimism on stocks in their own regions versus 49% on stocks globally.
Meanwhile, 74% saw recent market volatility as an investment opportunity, compared with 67% who were still concerned about volatility witnessed in the fourth quarter of last year.
42% of investors planned to invest more in the next six months versus 17% who planned to invest less.
Sustainable investing was also cited as a growing interest, making up 27% of portfolios as opposed to 22% five years ago.
Globally, 74% of business owners were optimistic on their business; 37% planned to invest more versus 10% who planned to invest less; and 31% intended to hire more over the next 12 months as opposed to 12% who intended to downsize.
On the negative side, investors expressed worries about domestic issues.
Some 44% cited their country's politics as a top concern and 40% cited their national debt.
Investors’ cash holdings also remained high. On average, 32% of portfolios globally were allocated to cash.
US and Swiss investors' cash holdings were lower (23% and 31%, respectively).
Holdings in both Asia and Latin America were 36%.
In Europe, they were 35%.
However, US investors were also least likely to invest more, at 26% of respondents, while Latin American and Asian investors were the most likely, at 66% and 54%, respectively.
Paula Polito, client strategy officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “Cash is a safe asset for a liquidity strategy but a risky one for longevity.
“Right now, we see high levels of cash globally.
“This is a good time for investors to consider a more diversified portfolio.”
Christian Wiesendanger, head of investment platforms and solutions at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “We have seen significant investor interest in multi-asset mandates and other diversified solutions as markets recover.
“Most recently, our 100% sustainable cross-asset portfolio surpassed $5bn in assets globally.
“Investors should continue to look past their favoured asset classes and countries for opportunities as the global business cycle advances.”