Investors’ confidence rose during the first quarter of 2012, according to a new report.
John Hancock Financial Services, a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, Toronto, disclosed this finding in a new John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index, a quarterly measure of investors’ views on investment choices, life goals, economic outlook and confidence in these areas.
The index is derived from a quarterly poll of approximately 1,000 investors, and reflects the percentage of those who say they believe it is a “good” or “very good” time to invest, minus those who feel the opposite. The first quarter survey was conducted in late February of 2012.
Investor sentiment improved to +21 in the first quarter of this year, compared with a score of +15 in the fourth quarter of 2011, the most substantial increase since the Index was started in early 2011, the report says.
In a significant finding, more investors this past quarter believe they are in a better financial position today than they were two years ago (43% versus 33% in Q4 2011). Moreover, nearly 60% believe they will be in a better financial position looking ahead two years from now.
Fueling the improvement this past quarter was a rise in positive attitudes toward investing in stocks and balanced mutual funds. Investors report optimism about equities and foresee market growth.