Cosmopolitan Elite Bullish On Global Economy

The more cosmopolitan you are, the more optimistic you are about economic prospects, or so it seems, according to a new study by HSBC. The bank surveyed more than 2,000 "global citizens" (a.k.a., people who are affluent, well educated, traveled, and often multilingual) in 10 major world cities and found that they were much more bullish on the state of their own personal finances, as well as the health of the global economy, than the average Joe. Seventy-two percent reported no change in personal spending over the last three years, and few fretted about losing a job.

In fact, these high fliers were so optimistic that the majority had not touched their portfolio allocations (which are more diversified globally than those of the average Western investor) from 2008 onward, despite the financial crisis. According to Andy Ireland, the head of premier wealth management for HSBC, this comes down to "a belief in the growth potential of emerging markets." Indeed, when asked which nations would lead the world in business opportunities over the next decade, most respondents chose China and India, and nearly 70 percent did not include the U.S. in their top picks. For those at home in the world, the U.S. feels less homey.