The study, which looked at the views of more than 300 HNWIs in 15 cities across Europe on their outlook for current market conditions and risk appetite also found that only 6% said there would be a severe global depression.
HNWIs in Spain, Ireland and the UK were found to have the most optimistic outlook, with 92%, 90% and 85% respectively believing the eurozone will either “manage to avert large defaults and will be rewarded for stringent austerity", or they believe it will survive "but will look different from its current structure".
Despite the uncertainty, 45% of HNWIs think European equities are the most undervalued risk assets. This view was highest in Spain (69%), Ireland (44%) and the UK (41%). Almost one quarter (24%) view US real estate as an investment opportunity, followed by Asian equities (11%) and high yield bonds and oil (10%).
The survey also asked for their outlook on the best performing sector of 2012. A significant number (38%) said the technology sector would be the top performer followed by the banking sector with 20% of votes, and mining at 16%.
Cesar Perez, chief investment strategist for J P Morgan Private Bank in EMEA, said: “Current circumstances call for modestly less risk than normal. While equities look cheap, especially compared to investment grade bonds, they are cheap for a reason. The extremely high uncertainty surrounding Europe and threats to emerging market growth are two explanations why equities are as cheap as they are from a price-to-book and to a lesser extent a price to-earnings valuation perspective.”