Of the 1,000 Malaysian respondents polled, 44% believed the local economy has improved while a smaller 24% believed it has worsened, according to the 2012 Global Investor Sentiment Survey conducted by Franklin Templeton, a global investment management organisation.
Optimism is particularly pronounced among the younger generation with 49% in the 18 to 34 year-old segment, citing improved or significantly improved perceptions of the local economy over last year.
There is also growing interest among Malaysians to invest more in areas outside the local market.
Country head of Franklin Templeton Asset Management Malaysia, Sandeep Singh, said the survey also found that the investors were not affected by the situation in Greece and the euro-zone debt crisis for the past three months as they had a longer-term view of their investments.
“Local investors have always displayed a strong home bias in their asset allocation, but this year’s survey clearly shows a shift in mindset,” he said during a media briefing on the survey today.
Malaysian respondents, regardless of their demographics, also largely perceived stocks as the riskiest asset class to invest in over the next 10 years followed by bonds and non-metals.
They also considered total and guaranted returns important factors in influencing their investment decisions, while 75% believed risk profile and dividends were important.
The finding also stated that 59% of Malaysians surveyed believed their local investments will yield returns upwards of 5% per annum in the current market environment.
In contrast, they were more pessimistic about the global economy, with 40% neutral on its current state and 31% believing it has deteriorated.
Comparing regions, 43% of those surveyed in Malaysia believed that Asia would offer the best investment returns next year followed by United States, Canada and Middle East.