Rich investors are paralyzed because they are concerned markets may decline further, a survey by Barclays PLC's private banking unit suggests.

More than two-thirds of the 2,100 people surveyed worldwide said the risks of price fluctuations were still too high, even though almost 90% said there were ways to make money in the current market.

"The vast majority of clients recognize that by historical standards there are great opportunities out there," Philippe Sednaoui, Barclays Wealth's chief executive officer in Switzerland, said in an interview. "But they have difficulty deciding whether a new storm will unleash, so aren't willing to act."

The Barclays survey, released Monday, targeted people with $830,000 to $49.3 million to invest and was conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. from March to May.

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