Ultrawealthy investors turn more bullish on U.S. stocks

Jeremy Maude | Photodisc | Getty Images

The ultrawealthy are getting ultrabullish on markets.

A survey from the Institute for Private Investors shows that a majority of families worth $30 million or more are focused on growth rather than preserving capital. That's up from last year's rate of 47 percent. The number of families focused on protecting their wealth fell to 36 percent from 43 percent.

They're also putting less into cash: 42 percent of respondents said they plan to decrease cash allocations in 2013.

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The ultrawealthy are bullish on stocks. More than half plan to increase their allocation to U.S. stocks.

The wealthy feel "the time is right to get off the sidelines and start focusing on rebuilding wealth lost in the Great Recession," said Mindy Rosenthal, president of the Institute for Private Investors, a subsidiary of Campden Wealth. "Private investors are still highly concerned about preserving capital, but they realize to preserve wealth they need to generate returns."

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The ultrawealthy chalked up solid returns last year. Their average return net of fees was 10 percent, according to the survey. That was below the S&P's performance of 13.4 percent, but better than the Dow's increase of 7.26 percent.

The portfolios of the wealthy were heavy on stocks and hedge funds last year. In 2012, U.S. equities accounted for 18 percent of their porfolios and global equities accounted for 14 percent. Taxable bonds accounted for 10 percent and municipal bonds 7 percent.

Hedge funds and funds of funds accounted for 18 percent, while private equity accounted for 10 percent. Real estate direct investments, commodities, venture capital and direct investments in private companies accounted for most of the rest.

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Going forward, however, more of the wealthy plan to move money into private equity and direct investments in companies, while fewer are putting more money into hedge funds.

—By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter @robtfrank.