Investors Blindly Bullish on Stocks, Again, in 2012

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors are expecting stocks on the S&P 500 to rise by an average of 8.3% this year, according to an annual survey by Commonfund Forum. Over the next five years, money managers expect to see their portfolios to gain an average of 7.6% per year.

The survey 222 institutional investors who held $239 billion in total found surprising consistency in its results between this year and 2011. Expectations for 2012 are almost unchanged from the prior year. In 2011, the survey found that investors forecast an 8.55% gain on the S&P index.

As for other asset classes, 44% of the survey participants said they think commodities will outperform the S&P 500. Last year, 61% thought commodities would outperform. More investors than last year think that bonds will underperform stocks - 84% said the Barclay's Aggregate Bond Index would rise less than the S&P index while that percentage was 91% in the prior year. Also, a smaller percentage of investors think that interest rates will rise in the current year when asked about the yield on the 10-year Treasury.

And, as confirmation that the U.S. market might still be the better place to put your money, fewer respondents (75% this year) said that emerging markets would outperform the S&P, compared to last year (79%).

Despite bullish expectations for stocks, investors seem well aware of what could halt the rally -- 46% of investors say that "tail risks" are increasing. They saw the European debt crisis and the debt gridlock in Washington D.C. as the two greatest tail risks. A jump in oil prices, a recession at home and a Chinese slowdown were next on the list of concerns.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Chao Deng.

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