Retail investors are shifting from bullish to bearish, according to a recent survey from Charles Schwab.
Charles Schwab recently surveyed about 850 of its retail clients about how they’re feeling about the markets and their personal finances for the Q4 2018 Charles Schwab Retail Investor Sentiment Report.
According to the survey, the client outlook for the U.S. stock market is shifting with 52% feeling bearish, compared with 41% a year ago.
The proportion of Schwab clients who think it is a “good time to invest” declined to the lowest level since December 2015.
The survey found that the leading concern about investing is the U.S. political landscape; however, clients are divided about how the new makeup of Congress will impact their investment strategy. Of those surveyed, 39% think the new Congress will have some kind of impact, while 42% think it will not.
Other worries clients have about investing include an extended market downturn and uncertainty due to market volatility.
The majority of clients believe the next economic downturn will occur in the next few years. Of those surveyed, 30% think a downturn will happen in the next year and another 35% think an economic downturn will happen in two to three years.
According to Joe Vietri, Charles Schwab branch network leader, “increasing market volatility and drama in our political landscape have been catalysts for a downshift in client sentiment from bullish to bearish.”