Despite strong U.S. equity market returns in early 2012 that sent the Dow back above 13,000 by the end of February, indications are that many Americans remain investment spectators, reluctant to participate in the equity market rally, a Franklin Templeton global poll has found.
The survey, the Franklin Templeton Global Investor Sentiment Survey, conducted earlier this year, polled more than 20,000 individuals in 19 countries. It was designed by the Duke University psychology and behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely (left), and examines what factors are influencing investors’ outlooks and behavior.
U.S. respondents’ perceptions of the economic landscape, both for the U.S. and globally, skewed toward the negative. Half of U.S. respondents believe the U.S. economy has deteriorated since last year, in spite of the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had positive returns in 2011, as well as in 2010 and 2009.
Such negative perceptions were even more pronounced when Americans looked globally, with 54% indicating a belief that the global economy deteriorated in 2011. U.S. respondents’ perceptions of the global economy were in line with those of global respondents, 51% of whom believe the global economy deteriorated last year, but more negative than countries like India and Brazil, for example, where just 12% and 34% of survey participants, respectively, held this negative view.