Active Traders Are Bullish on Equities but Economic and Political Concerns Remain
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Active traders are expressing renewed optimism about the U.S. stock market, despite ongoing concerns about the economic and political environment, according to new data from two Charles Schwab studies released today. In Schwab's most recent Active Trader Sentiment Survey, 52 percent of active trader clients say they have a bullish outlook on stocks in the next three to six months, while only 17 percent consider themselves bearish.
While respondents expressed general enthusiasm about stocks, they also acknowledge that global economic issues (27 percent) and the U.S. budget deficit (20 percent) are currently high on their list of concerns. In addition, while many major market averages are at or near all-time highs, only 12 percent of respondents say their biggest concern is that the stock market is over-inflated. A relatively small number express concern about the health of the U.S. housing market (2 percent), inflation (5 percent) or unemployment (8 percent).
Separately, 61 percent of active trader clients surveyed in Schwab's Q1 2013 Investor Confidence Study say this is a good or very good time to invest in equities, a significant increase from just 33 percent who felt this way in the fourth quarter of 2012. Fifty-eight percent of active traders in this survey also say they feel extremely or very confident making investment decisions now, compared to 50 percent last quarter.
"We've seen an overall shift in sentiment among active trader clients from wariness in the fourth quarter of 2012 to cautious optimism going into the second quarter of this year," noted Kelli Keough, Senior Vice President of Client Experience at Charles Schwab. "When talking to our clients, we continue to emphasize that education, discipline and strategy are key to staying nimble in the current market environment."
Additional key findings of the Active Trader Sentiment Survey include:
- New opportunities seen in healthcare. More than a quarter of respondents (27 percent) say they are most bullish on the healthcare sector, compared to 17 percent in November 2012 and up from just six percent one year ago. Other sectors viewed favorably in the latest survey include energy (18 percent), technology (16 percent) and financials (14 percent).
- Diversification outside of the U.S. is important. While the majority of active traders favor domestic investing opportunities, nearly one quarter (24 percent) believe markets outside the United States offer a better opportunity for growth.
- Portfolio risk is a concern. Less than 14 percent of traders say they are "very confident" that their portfolios are properly hedged against risk. More than one-third consider themselves "not confident enough."
- Government suspicion remains. An overwhelming majorityof respondents (63 percent) give the government a grade of "D" or "F" when it comes to pursuing pro-investing policies. Only one percent say the government deserves an "A."
Schwab provides active traders with cutting-edge trading platforms, free seminars and workshops, online education resources and 24-hour access to experienced trading specialists, with no minimum trade requirements. For more information, please visit www.schwab.com/AT or call 888-245-6864.
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About the Charles Schwab Active Trader Sentiment Survey
Data from the Charles Schwab Active Trader Sentiment Survey were derived from responses of approximately 200 attendees of Charles Schwab's virtual trader event on March 28, 2013.
About the Charles Schwab Investor Confidence Study
Data from the Charles Schwab Investor Confidence Survey were derived from responses of 1,150 retail clients. Online interviews were conducted from March 8 through March 20, 2013.
About Charles Schwab
The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYS: SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.9 million active brokerage accounts, 1.6 million corporate retirement plan participants, 888,000 banking accounts, and $2.08 trillion in client assets as of March 31, 2013. The company was ranked 'Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services' in the 2012 US Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction StudySM from J.D. Power and Associates. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; compliance and trade monitoring solutions; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services division. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides trust and custody services, banking and lending services and products. Investment products offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank, and are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com. (0413-3246)
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