Managers staying in cash mode

From Times Wire Services

More investment managers are hoarding cash than at any time since just after the 9/11 attacks more than six years ago, according to a survey.

In the survey by Merrill Lynch & Co., 41% of money managers said they were “overweight” cash, a percentage not seen since late 2001.

Of the respondents, 51% -- the most in seven years -- said their willingness to take on investment risks was lower than normal.

The survey, conducted Feb. 1-7, interviewed managers who invest a total of $587 billion in assets.


“We are seeing extreme levels of liquidity and risk aversion against a very gloomy macro outlook,” David Bowers, a consultant to Merrill, said in London at a briefing on the survey. “People don’t know what the next investment strategy call is. There is no transparency and no visibility.”