More Americans than Canadians believe that now is a good time to invest in stocks, according to a new report.

So notes Manulife in the latest release of its Investor Sentiment Index. A semi-annual measure of investors’ views on asset classes, savings and investment vehicles, the index is based on an online survey of 1,000 Canadians ages 25-plus.

The report shows that 6 in 10 (60 percent) of Americans believe that now is a good time to in stocks. This compares with just 44 percent of Canadians. 

Conversely, more Canadians than Americans (34 percent vs. 13 percent, respectively) say that now is a good time to invest in cash.

“It’s really interesting that over one-third of Canadians in both the affluent (34 percent) and general population (37 percent) segments see cash as a good investment, because consecutive ISI surveys conducted in the U.S. show cash is viewed as the worst investment — 60 percent don’t think it’s a good time to hold on to cash,” says Megan Greene, chief economist, Manulife Asset Management. “Before oil prices dropped, Canadians were getting out of the market and saving cash — a non-traditional investment product.

“These numbers show that some Canadians don’t see cash as a high risk investment because they feel it’s more secure and readily available,” Greene adds.

See the infographic on the next page for a comparison of American and Canadian views on investing in stocks versus cash.