BOSTON, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® dropped six points in the third quarter of 2013, to +20 from its record high of +26 in this year's second quarter, partly due to investors' increasingly negative views toward investing in stocks. While the Index score reached its lowest point of the year this quarter, it is still three points higher than it was in the third quarter of 2012.
Significantly fewer investors (55 percent) said now is a good time to invest in stocks, compared with 62 percent who thought stocks were attractive in Q2 of 2013. Bonds did not have much appeal either, with only 18 percent of investors thinking it is a good time to invest in them, compared with 23 percent in the prior quarter.
Positive attitudes persist, however, toward home ownership, with two-thirds of investors still thinking that now is a good time to invest in their own home.Investors continue to save for the long term and to view that activity in a positive light. Nearly three quarters say they are saving for retirement through a workplace retirement plan, and just as many are saving on their own. Eighty percent of investors said that now is a good time to be investing in their 401(k) plans and IRAs; this is a significant jump from last year when 73 percent thought so. When available to investors in their 401(k) plans, Target Date funds or Target Risk funds are popular options, with nearly 60 percent choosing them. Investors said the main reason for investing in a Target Date fund is "that it is 'easy,' [they don't] have to think about it." The main reasons cited for choosing a Target Risk fund are "diversification," and "asset allocation based on your risk tolerance."