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Shares win popularity contest as investor confidence rises

10 June 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Investor confidence in the markets turned positive in May, according to the initial findings of a report from the Investment Management Association (IMA).

Compared to six months ago, overall investor confidence increased by 35 points in May, as measured by the IMA's Investor Confidence Index – it reached 106, on a scale of zero to 200, where 100 is neutral.

The Investor Intentions Index also revealed a positive increase; while not as strong as market confidence, intentions to invest rose to 99, up 10 points on November's figures.

This shows that investors on the whole are neutral about putting money into new investments, the IMA said of the new statistics, which will be published in full later this month as part of its Great British Investor Report.

The initial findings of the report also reveal that more than half of investors think that the investment market has improved in the last six months, with a similar number saying they would choose to put money into investment products at present.

Amongst investors who said they are likely to increase their investments in the next year, stocks and shares are the most popular investment option, with 51 per cent of investors choosing them.

While confidence has risen considerably, more than half of investors still believe it will take longer than two years for the FTSE 100 to return to 6000 points.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Richard Saunders, chief executive at IMA, said: "These findings suggest that investors are feeling more optimistic about the investment market than they did six months ago although they are still cautious about re-entering it.

"This improved mood is consistent with IMA sales statistics which show modest net retail inflows into equity funds over the last two months, but much healthier ones into corporate bond funds over the last six months, with April's overall retail sales being the highest in three years."

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