Investors are increasingly upbeat about the U.S. economy and stock market, according to the findings of the latest E-Trade Financial StreetWise quarterly tracking survey of experienced investors.
When it comes to the current market, 61% of those surveyed for the first-quarter report said they were bullish, up from 50% in the Q4 report and only 46% in the Q1 report last year, E-Trade said.
Meanwhile, 56% of the 909 self-directed active investors managing at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account who were surveyed online Jan. 2-10 said they believed the stock market would rise by the end of Q1, while only 24% said they thought it would drop, according to E-Trade.
Nearly half (49%) of investors surveyed this time gave the economy a “B” rating, up from 42% in Q4. In comparison, 23% gave it an “A” (up from 16%), 22% gave it a “C” (down from 32%), 4% gave it a “D” (down from 8%) and 2% again flunked it entirely with an “F.”
Almost half of the investors surveyed (46%) said they expected the Federal Reserve to keep rates the same this year, up from 40% in Q4. In comparison, 9% predicted the Fed will raise rates twice (up from 0% in Q4), 29% predicted the Fed will raise rates once (up from 12%), 8% predicted the Fed will cut rates once (down from 35%), 1% predicted the Fed will cut rates twice (down from 4%) and 7% said they didn’t know (down from 8%), E-Trade said.
While interest in stocks remains high, interest in exchange-traded funds is growing, with 41% of the investors surveyed this time expressing interest in them, up from 33% in Q4 and only 30% in Q1 last year. At the same time, interest in large- and mid-caps increased since Q4, the company said.
Family Investment Trends
E-Trade also this time examined how those investors surveyed who are parents handle their financial decisions, and there were both positive and negative signs in the responses.
One of the positives: Three out of four parents think their partner is helpful in financial decision-making (75%), compared with 73% of the total population. Similarly, three out of four parents said they felt comfortable with their partners executing on investment decisions without their input (75%), compared to 67% of the total population.