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Investor Sentiment Softens Slightly In 2012's Third Quarter; Remains Stronger Than One Year Ago

BOSTON, Oct. 3, 2012   /PRNewswire/ -- Investors' confidence dipped somewhat again in the third quarter of 2012, according to the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index®, released today by John Hancock Financial Services.  Investor sentiment declined by two points to +17 in the third quarter compared with a score of +19 in the second quarter of this year. The shift was driven by a drop in positive attitudes toward investing in bonds partially offset by very small upticks in stocks and real estate.

It was the second consecutive two-point drop quarter to quarter for the Index, which also declined from +21 in Q1 2012 to +19 in Q2 2012.  Still, the Index remains above the +15 score in the fourth quarter of 2011, and well above its low of +10 in the third quarter of 2011.

The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® is a quarterly measure of investors' views on a range of investment choices, life goals, and economic outlook, as well as their confidence in these areas.  The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® is derived from a quarterly poll of approximately 1,000 investors, and reflects the percentage of those who say they believe it is a "good" or "very good" time to invest, minus those who feel the opposite. The third quarter survey was conducted from mid-to late August of 2012.

Investors' views on most types of investments remained largely unchanged in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the year's second quarter. Forty-nine percent of investors in the third quarter said it was a good time to invest in stocks compared to 48 percent in the second quarter. Nearly 25 percent thought it was a good time to invest in bonds (24 percent), down slightly from 27 percent in Q2.   

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