Daily News: December 16, 2014

Wells Fargo/Gallup: Investor Optimism at Seven-Year High

Despite stock market volatility this fall, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index held steady in the fourth quarter, registering +48 in November, similar to the +46 measured in the third quarter.

Retiree optimism surged, rising 19 points to +54, driven by their more upbeat view of the economy than in prior quarters. Optimism among non-retired investors waned slightly, registering +46 in the fourth quarter, versus +50 in the third quarter. Overall investor sentiment reflected a more positive outlook about personal financial situations rather than the broad economy.

The overall Investor and Retirement Optimism Index is now the highest it has been since 2007, following several years of gradual, steady increases. The index is registering a value that is double what it was a year ago, and significantly higher than in November 2012, when it was -8. Still, it remains well below its +178 high point recorded in January 2000.

In a new question, investors were asked if the results of the November elections make them more optimistic about the economy: 43% say they are “more” optimistic, 29% say they are “less” optimistic and 28% say the elections have generated “no impact” on their outlook.

“While moving in the right direction, investor optimism and outlook regarding the economy are recovering at a snail’s pace rather than roaring back. Another sentiment we see in this poll is a mixture of views on the availability of funds to save for retirement. A majority say they could save more on a monthly basis but, at the same time, a majority also thinks the top reason Americans struggle to save for retirement is the pressure of day-to-day bills. There are two realities people are dealing with as our country moves forward,” said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust.

The survey of 1,009 investors was conducted November 14-23, less than a month after the midterm elections.

To read the entire press release, click here.