A new survey of investment fund distributors shows the enduring appeal of equities among European retail investors. According to Greenwich Associates, some 47% of retail assets are invested in equities in Europe. By contrast, institutional investors on the continent allocated only around 20% of assets to equities. This difference is particularly stark in Germany, where retail investors devote 66% of their portfolios to shares, versus an average allocation of only 7% among institutional investors in the country.

Roughly two-thirds of the fund distributors polled by Greenwich say that retail clients will boost allocations to emerging-markets equities over the next year. Other asset classes poised for growth, survey respondents say, are a host of alternative investments, including hedge funds and vehicles focused on commodities and infrastructure.