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Who’s Scared of the Big, Bad Market? Investor Confidence Up in 2012

Survey: 65% of investors have some confidence in U.S. markets


A recent survey conducted by the Center for Audit Quality reveals that two-thirds of individual investors believe in the markets. And while that’s not a ringing endorsement, I have to admit I was a bit surprised.

After all, how much mayhem have retail traders endured over the last few years? There was Madoff and Rajaratnam. There was high-frequency trading and flash crashes. Oh, yeah … and that whole losing your life savings in the 2008 downturn.

But get this: Almost two-thirds of individual investors (65%) have at least some confidence in U.S. capital markets. That’s an increase of 4 percentage points from 2011, according to the sixth annual Main Street Investor Survey.

From the Center for Audit Quality:

“Confidence in domestic markets has held remarkably steady throughout the financial crisis,” Executive Director Cindy Fornelli said. “Individual investors, as a group, have confidence in audited financial information released by public companies and believe that auditors are effective in looking out for investors’ interests.”

Other findings:

  • 70% of investors believe the American economy will either stay the same or improve over the next year; only 20% believe it will get worse.
  • While just 25% of investors expect their personal financial situation to improve, 64% expect it to stay the same over the next year. At least they aren’t worried!
  • Confidence in capital markets outside the United States fell to a low of 35% (from 43% in 2011).

Interesting stuff. It appears that despite all the nonsense that has happened, investors are more willing to play the stock market game in 2012 — and might be getting their swagger back.

It’s worth noting, of course, that this survey was conducted and released during a rally for U.S. equities. The S&P 500 is up about 15% year-to-date … so I wonder what the results would be if we saw a big leg down tomorrow.

Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at editor@investorplace.com or follow him on Twitter via@JeffReevesIP

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/09/whos-scared-of-the-big-bad-market-investor-confidence-up-in-2012/.

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