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3 top investment areas: UBS strategist

The United States remains the best place to invest, even with an expectation that the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its asset purchases in December, UBS Chief Investment Strategist Mike Ryan said Monday.

"We see a macro environment — while it's certainly not going full-bore, we're seeing signs of improvement," he said. "And while the Fed is talking about tapering, they're not talking about fully disengaging from markets."

On CNBC's "Fast Money" Ryan highlighted three areas to best play the current climate.

"So, we think against that backdrop, we need to reposition in markets. We need to be a bit more selective," he said. "But we still have a pro-risk stance and want to continue to emphasize areas where we think growth opportunities are best, U.S. equities, and we're also going to focus on global credit, especially high yield."

Mid- and small-cap stocks, were particularly attractive, Ryan said, and he also liked the U.S. dollar.

Ryan also took issue with the idea that the Fed's $85 billion-per-month of asset purchases have accounted for 25 percent of the gains in financial stocks.

(Read more: Go abroad for gains: BlackRock strategist)

"What you're seeing is the equity markets over the course of the last couple of quarters are finally catching up in terms of what we already saw in terms of corporate profitability," he said.

"I think what the Fed has done is they set the environmental conditions that allowed for financial market stability and allowed for the re-engagement of the real economy. I think that's what they've done, and it's obviously aided the financial markets, but it hasn't been the primary catalyst."

Ryan added that business investment would likely increase in the second half of 2013.

(Read more: Dow 17,000 still likely in 2013: Jeremy Siegel)

"They've been waiting for developments, whether it's been some clarity on the regulatory or on the fiscal front, or they've been waiting to see engagement by consumers. I think we're slowly starting to see some of the cards fall in place," he said. "I think it's going to be a gradual re-engagement that'll happen over a period of quarters, not one period alone."

By CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro. Follow him on Twitter @Bruno_J_Navarro.

— CNBC's Patricia Martell contributed research to this report.

Trader disclosure: On Aug. 19, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Stephanie Link is long AAPL; Stephanie Link is long JPM; Stephanie Link is long WFC; Stephanie Link is long CSCO; Stephanie Link is long FB; Stephanie Link is long EBAY; Stephen Weiss is long BAC; Stephen Weiss is long AIG; Stephen Weiss is long C; Pete Najarian is long AAPL; Pete Najarian is long C; Pete Najarian is long BBRY; Pete Najarian is long SBUX; Pete Najarian is long FB; Pete Najarian is long MSFT; Pete Najarian is long KWK; Pete Najarian is long NRF; Pete Najarian is long GGB; Pete Najarian is long SUNE; Michael Murphy is long BAC; Michael Murphy is long C; Michael Murphy is long INTC; Michael Murphy is long MSFT; John Bridges is long GG; John Bridges is long EGO; John Bridges is long NEM.

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