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Investors and public divided over property

23 March 2004
Investors' opinions differ from that of the general public on whether to invest in property or the stock market.

It has been revealed that 44 per cent of investors believe that over the next year equities will perform better than property. By contrast, the most popular investment choice for the general public is property, with 36 per cent of people preferring this option. Last year 44 per cent of the population saw property as the best choice.

The results come from the most recent Association of Investment Trust Companies' "Investor Confidence Survey".

Annabel Brodie-Smith, the AITC communications director, said of the findings: "Despite predictions of a property crash the general public are still putting their faith in bricks and mortar."

The survey also concluded that the investors' confidence in equity is mirrored in the 43 per cent of those choosing to utilise the £7,000 ISA tax allowance before the end of this tax year.

Investors led the way on further stock market exposure of their investments, with 67 per cent opting to do so over the next few months. The public, however, were less eager, with only six per cent willing to do the same.

Ms Brodie-Smith went on to add, "In the past, bold investors have been rewarded over the long-term for investing in equities when confidence is at a low."

She gave an example that if a person had invested £1,000 ten years ago in an investment trust they would now have £1,500. Whereas the same amount invested only one year ago would have yielded up a £1,400 total.

Despite the "roller coaster performance" of the stock market over the last few years, things now seem to be looking up. "I am increasingly confident that the world economic recovery is set to continue," says the manager of Martin Currie Portfolio Investment Trust, Tom Walker.