Investor confidence rose strongly in March, according to the latest survey from JPMorgan Flemin...
Investor confidence rose strongly in March, according to the latest survey from JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management. While more IFAs express confidence, the number is slipping.
The number of investors expecting the UK Stock Market to be higher in six months time rose from 37% to 48% in March. This compares with 20% who were negative about prospects over the next six months (down from 22%) and the balance of 32% who remain neutral down from 41%.
In contrast, 71% of IFAs questioned expect the market to be higher in six months time and only 9% think otherwise. The remaining 20% believe markets will be unchanged. There has been a gradual but perceptible fall in the percentage of IFAs bullish - down from 83% in January and 76% in February to 71% in March, with a corresponding increase in those taking a neutral stance.
Peter Brewster, Head of Marketing Research, commented: "More people have come 'off the fence' in the latest survey and are taking a more positive view about prospects for shares. Apart from last months' blip when investor confidence fell slightly, we have seen a V–shape recovery in investor confidence with the low point in August and September of last year.
"Investors traditionally have a large proportion of their portfolio invested in the UK, and since the end of 1999 when markets peaked, we have seen the FTSE-100 index fall 10% in the year 2000 followed by a further 16% fall in 2001. Investors have witnessed the longest bear market since the early 1970's combined with a large fall in technology stocks, which were a popular investment in 1999. This has made them quite wary about getting back in the market, as demonstrated by reduced ISA sales activity in the last quarter. Whilst private investors are increasingly more confident that the stock market will be higher in six months time, I suspect that many want to see firm evidence of a rally in share prices before committing further funds," said Brewster.
The survey used a randomly selected sample of 500 private investors throughout Great Britain and the IFA survey involved 100 advisors.
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