Gold is investors' favorite asset for 2012, and developed markets are preferred over emerging markets when it comes to putting money in stocks or bonds, according to a poll carried out by Japanese investment bank Nomura.
Of the 164 investors who took part in Nomura's poll, 19.5 percent said they would choose to buy gold and hold it until the end of the year. Other favored assets were stocks and investment-grade corporate bonds in developed markets, with about 13 percent of responses.
Emerging market stocks came next, getting about 10 percent of the votes, on a par with developed markets' sovereign bonds.
On the foreign exchange front, more than 40 percent said they would be long the US dollar this year, followed by about 14 percent who said they would be long the Chinese yuan and a little over 10 percent who would be long the Japanese yen .
Around 10 percent said they would be long other currencies, and "the vast majority" were looking to be long the Norwegian krone , the Swedish krona or the Canadian dollar , according to the poll.
Around 60 percent of the respondents said one or more countries will leave the euro currency in 2012, with a majority of them believing that only Greece, and no other country, will leave the currency.
February, March, April and May were mentioned as months in which investors see yield spreads for bonds of periphery euro zone countries reaching their peak versus Bund yields, according to the survey.
The most popular choice for investors was March, with nearly 20 percent of the votes, followed by April, with around 16 percent and February and May with more than 10 percent.
For 10-year US Treasurys, respondents on average predicted a yield of 2.21 percent for the end of the year, a bit higher than the current one, which is hovering around 1.98 percent.
Asked whether the Federal Reserve is likely to embark upon a third round of quantitative easing , two-thirds said that the Fed will do so, but most see it as an event for the second or third quarter rather than sooner, the poll showed.