BOSTON, July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Investor sentiment ticked up one point to +29 in the second quarter of 2015, its highest since the inception of the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® in January of 2011. Sentiment has been positive and upward-trending for four consecutive quarters, another first since inception of the Index, and has been stable or upward-trending for a total of eight quarters, since the second quarter of 2013.
The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index reflects the percentage of investors who say they believe it is a "good" or "very good" time to invest, minus those who feel the opposite. The second quarter 2015 survey was conducted in mid-May.
"Helping to sustain the upward trend are positive attitudes toward investing in stocks (60 percent), balanced mutual funds (63 percent), investing in one's own home (72 percent), and real estate investments (59 percent). Over a third remains positive on ETFs (36 percent). Investors continue to feel good about saving for retirement through 401(k) plans (79 percent), or IRAs (77 percent)," noted Megan E. Greene, Chief Economist, John Hancock Asset Management.
"Moreover, investors are feeling increasingly confident about their financial security, with nearly six in ten (57 percent) reporting that they are in a better financial position compared with two years ago. This level is up significantly from the past three quarters: 51 percent in Q1 2015, and 50 percent in both Q4 and Q3 of 2013," she added.
In another important component of investor confidence, the majority (61 percent) of those surveyed in Q2 2015 said they believed they would have enough to live on, within their means, when they retire. One quarter expected to have more than enough income, while one in ten (11 percent) feel they will not have enough to cover their expenses when they retire.
Investors are not without worries. The cost of healthcare and political gridlock in Washington, DC continue to be issues about which investors say they are greatly concerned (56 and 51 percent, respectively). Slightly more than four in ten investors (43 percent) are very concerned about unrest in the Middle East, significantly more than one year ago (27 percent in Q2 2014). One third (34 percent) say they are very concerned about the impact of healthcare reform on employers.
About the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey
John Hancock's Investor Sentiment Survey is a quarterly poll of affluent investors. The survey measures investors' feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment. The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and their attitudes toward specific financial products and services. This online survey was conducted by independent research firm Greenwald & Associates. A total of 1,064 investors were surveyed from May 11th to May 22nd, 2015. To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household's financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000 or more. The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey's qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Due to rounding and missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100 percent.
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were C$821 billion (US$648 billion) as at March 31, 2015. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
SOURCE John Hancock Financial