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July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index
®rose two points to +26 in the second quarter of 2013, surpassing last quarter's all-time high and continuing an upward trend that began in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Positive attitudes toward investing in stocks persisted in the second quarter, with 62 percent saying that now is a good time to invest in them. The enthusiasm for equities is sharply higher than a year ago, when only 48 percent of investors were positive on stocks in 2012's second quarter. Likewise, investors are upbeat about real estate (63 percent, up from 59 percent in Q2 of 2012) and about their own home as an investment (67 percent, up significantly from 60 percent in Q2 of 2012).
Investors continue to shun bonds, with only 23 percent thinking it is a good time to invest in them, significantly lower than one year ago when 27 percent felt that way. Investors generally feel now is a bad time to be holding onto cash (64 percent).
Bill Cheney, John Hancock's Chief Economist, commented: "Amid steady gains in U.S. equity markets, investors are continuing to gain confidence in longer-term investing in companies and in less liquid investments such as real estate. Perceptions of their financial position also remain on an upward trend, with more than half (53 percent) of investors saying their current financial position is better than it was two years ago, a significant increase from 42 percent who felt that way in the second quarter of 2012. And about half (49 percent) continue to believe that two years from now they will be in even better shape financially."
Attitudes toward saving and investing remain remarkably high. Eight in ten investors feel than now is a good time to contribute to 401(k) plans (81 percent) and IRAs (78 percent), while 52 percent are positive on 529 College Savings Plans.