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Investor Sentiment Declines In Canada [Poll]

According to a national poll released today for Manulife Financial that measured how Canadians say they felt about investing in 11 different categories and vehicles, the survey recorded declines in all categories and vehicles, showing the largest quarterly drop for stocks, which fell back 15 points, coming to rest at 3 after a 23 point jump in March.

Manulife Investor Sentiment Survey Q2/10

The overall Manulife Investment Sentiment Index declined eight points in June to 25 after rising 15 points in March.

While the category did fall 2 points in June to 60, investment in personal residences (either through renovations or paying down mortgages) remained the most popular investment category - with a wide lead over every other area. The index reflects 69 per cent of those surveyed who said it’s a good or very good time to invest in their own residence - minus nine per cent who believe it’s a bad or very bad time. The remainder was undecided

Investment real estate held its lead over cash and fixed investments but declined 13 points in June to wipe out its gains in March. Investment real estate, at 27, was still up from a year ago when it fell to negative territory, which it had seen only twice since the survey began.

Fixed income investments ranked third in the survey at 19, after losing eight points from the previous quarter.

Balanced funds fell to fourth place at 23, losing 8 points since March.

Cash (including savings accounts) and fixed income investments (including GICs and annuities) climbed out of its traditional last place among popular places to put money, at 16, down only one point from the last poll.

As well as evaluating the six investment categories, the same question was also asked of five investment vehicles, namely Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP), segregated and mutual funds.

Scoring first place honours were Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) as more than six of every ten Canadians (66 per cent) said that now is a good time to choose a TFSA, compared to only 10 per cent who were negative.

Scoring 48 points in the latest poll, off six points from March, the second position was taken by Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP),as 63 per cent of those surveyed felt now was a good time to invest through RRSPs compared to 15 per cent who disagreed.

Coming in at 45 in the latest poll, off four points from the previous poll, the results for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) reflect the opinions of 58 per cent of respondents who felt that it’s a good or very good time to put money into an RESP, while 13 per cent said they feel it is a bad or very bad time.

Segregated funds lost some popularity this quarter by sliding eight points, to reach +19, to keep their lead over mutual funds. While the index for mutual funds dropped nine points from March and stood at 16.

The poll was carried out by Research House and was conducted with 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and older, between June 3 and 8, 2010. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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