Ultra-high-net-worth investors are increasingly putting their money into global investments, private companies and real assets, such as real estate and gold, according to a study by The Institute for Private Investors (IPI).

The investing trends spotted in the ultra-high-net-worth community often filter down to other investors, said IPI, which recently released its Family Performance Tracking surveys.

Portfolios for the ultra-high-net-worth are increasingly going global, according to IPI. In 2011, IPI families indicated they invested nearly a third of their portfolios outside the U.S. market. This year, nearly half of the IPI families said they are planning to increase their holdings in global equities.

IPI families have minimum assets of $30 million and 40% have assets of $200 million or more.

Ultra-high-net-worth investors also are increasing their investments in private companies, a trend that IPI sees continuing into the future.

The financial crisis and continued market volatility also has prompted ultra-high-net-worth investors to increasingly favor investments in real assets such as commercial and residential real estate, gold, land and artwork, according to the study.

"Sophisticated ultra-affluent investors increasingly have an international outlook and are seeking potential investment opportunities in markets around the world," said Mindy Rosenthal, IPI executive director. "And we are seeing a general movement toward owning real assets and backing companies with real businesses, including start-ups."

This is important because the trends often filter down into the broader market, she said.

"For example, IPI families began investing in hedge funds in the late 1990s," Rosenthal said.

IPI is an independent subsidiary of Campden Wealth, which provides education, research and networking opportunities to ultra-high-net-worth families and individuals, family office executives and advisors.

-Karen DeMasters