Manulife Investor Sentiment Index reveals priorities for 2013
Nearly eight in ten Canadians are confident about achieving financial goals
Investor confidence softens slightly
Debt reduction is top finance-related New Year's resolution for 2013
Key regional findings included
TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK:945WATERLOO, ON, Jan. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - As we begin a new year, results from the latest Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index released today indicate that, while Canadian investors appear to have ongoing concerns about the economic environment, they are taking deliberate steps to achieve their financial goals and they remain optimistic about their future financial position. "The good news is that Canadians remain optimistic about their financial future and they are taking some very simple, but concrete steps to continue making progress on their financial goals," said Paul Lorentz, Executive Vice-President, Investment and Insurance Solutions. "Canadians continue to be cautious about investing and with global economic challenges continuing to dominate our headlines, this is a trend we've been seeing for several quarters." Overall, the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index, which measures Canadians' perceptions about whether or not this is a good time to invest in a variety of savings and investment vehicles, showed that investor sentiment in Canada softened slightly through the second half of 2012. Results from the second half of the year show the Index now sitting at +20, down four points from July 2012 (+24) and down six points from December 2011 (+26). "Canadians are now more focused on paying down debt which may be causing them to be more cautious about investing," added Mr. Lorentz. "The slight decline returns the Index to the December 2010 level, however it is positive to see that investor sentiment continues to remain significantly stronger than during the height of the economic downturn in 2008-2009." Canadians optimistic about the future Interest in investment and savings vehicles remains flat indicating a continued cautious outlook toward investing, however, Canadians say they are optimistic about their financial future. Currently almost eight in ten Canadians feel their financial position is either the same (43 per cent) or better (35 per cent) than it was two years ago. Optimism for the future is higher with more than 90 per cent of Canadians indicating that two years from now their financial position will be either the same (39 per cent) or better (53 per cent) than today.