What a difference a quarter can make. John Hancock’s Investor Sentiment Index dropped to 23 in the third quarter, down six points from its record high in the previous three-month period.
This was the index’s lowest level since the 2014 third quarter, John Hancock said in a statement released Monday.
It said China’s currency devaluation and worries about a possible interest rate increase coincided with investors’ responding to the survey.
Investors in the online survey, conducted in mid-August, were required to have a household income of at least $75,000 and assets of $100,000 or more, and to participate at least to some extent in their household’s financial decision making.
The index reflects the percentage of respondents who say they believe now is a “good” or “very good” time to invest, minus those who feel the opposite.
The survey found that investors’ concerns helped drive down their optimism regarding stocks, bonds and balanced mutual funds compared with the previous three quarters.
Confidence in stock investing fell to 51% from 60% in the second quarter, in balanced mutual funds to 53% from 63% and in bonds to 19% from 25%.
In a February survey, John Hancock found investor optimism about investment prospects in 2015 running high. Respondents’ chief global worry was about unrest in the Mideast, and they thought China would still have the fastest-growing economy.
In the new survey, 70% of investors remained positive about owning their own homes, and 56% had a positive attitude toward real estate investments.