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New Year, New Outlook: Americans Increasingly Optimistic That U.S. Economy Is On The Rebound, Despite Looming Fiscal Cliff

While 2012 was a tough financial year, many Americans feel optimistic that 2013 will be brighter both personally and economically. In fact, 43 percent of Americans are optimistic about 2013 and believe the economy is on the rebound, according to a new 2013 Outlook Survey released by TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD). 1 That’s nearly double the 24 percent who last year said they were optimistic about 2012. 2

Just one-third (34%) of Americans are uncertain about where the economy is headed 1, compared with the 52 percent who were uncertain one year ago. 2 Additionally, 45 percent of Americans expect 2013 to be a better financial year than 2012 in terms of their personal financial situation. 1

This increase in optimism and clarity comes at a time of otherwise great uncertainty as the country faces the looming fiscal cliff deadline. Many investors are left wondering what the effects of the cliff – no matter what the resolution – will mean for the markets, economy and their own financial plans.

What the Fiscal Cliff Means to Investors and Independent Registered Investment Advisors

While it’s impossible to predict the outcome of an anticipated fiscal cliff resolution, understanding its potential impacts can help provide additional clarity about the markets and economy in the coming year. Some of TD Ameritrade’s most experienced professionals weigh in:

J.J. Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist, TD Ameritrade on active traders: “The impending fiscal cliff presents a lot of questions for traders – particularly how spending cuts or tax increases may affect different industries – which can open or close the door to potential trading opportunities. This could add some volatility to the markets and could result in increased trading activity toward the end of the year.”

Tom Bradley, president of retail distribution, TD Ameritrade on longer-term investors: “Even with the presidential election behind us, longer-term investors have slowed their trading pace – waiting for additional clarity from Washington, the markets and the economy. However, they remain engaged – logging in to check their accounts and planning their allocations around new tax and regulatory policies to make best use of their capital in the new year.”

Tom Nally, president, TD Ameritrade Institutional on independent registered investment advisors (RIAs): “Independent registered investment advisors are working to get out in front of the fiscal cliff, addressing their clients’ concerns and preparing for potentially bigger tax burdens and increased market volatility. RIAs anticipate not only steeper taxes for the wealthy, but also curbs on deductions. Regardless of political gridlock or any fiscal cliff deal outcomes, RIAs continue to look out for the long term, keeping in mind time horizons, risk tolerance and individual client goals.”

TD Ameritrade to Host Free Webcast on Fiscal Cliff Impacts, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. EST

To help investors consider how they will adapt their positions for a variety of potential outcomes, on Monday, December 17 th at 4 p.m. EST, TD Ameritrade will present a special webcast – “The Fiscal Cliff and its Impact on the Financial Markets.” Alec Young, S&P Capital IQ Global Equity Strategist will suggest ways for investors to prepare for several scenarios, based on what the federal government may decide to do.

The free webcast will cover:
  • How the fiscal cliff formed and which laws are in jeopardy
  • The potential economic impact if the fiscal cliff is resolved – and if it isn’t
  • An overview of each political party’s position and the current state of fiscal discussions
  • The potential impact to investors, including tax changes

The webcast is limited to 1,000 participants, however, an archived version will be made available after the live event here. Registration for the live event is free and open to the public.

TD Ameritrade clients can register and get more information about the webcast here.

For more information on TD Ameritrade’s investor surveys, visit or follow the Company on Twitter, @TDAmeritradePR.


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