Bullish Sentiment Among Active Traders Jumps to Highest Level in Four Years, Says New Schwab Survey

Thursday, March 22, 2012 6:00 am PDT



Public Company Information:

"As confidence improves and these bullish traders more eagerly embrace the market, we are seeing them adopt trading strategies that can help them manage risk and generate income."

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles Schwab today released new data showing that active traders are turning more bullish and plan to invest most of their tax refunds in the stock market. The latest Charles Schwab Active Trader Sentiment Survey polled 421 individual investors who trade frequently (at least 36 times per year) and found 51 percent of respondents now consider themselves bullish, the highest level seen since Schwab began tracking active trader sentiment in April 2008 and compared to just 25 percent in October 2011. Only 14 percent say they are currently bearish.

Highlighting renewed confidence in the markets, roughly three-quarters (77 percent) of those expecting a tax refund this year plan on investing at least some of it. In fact, more than half of respondents (53 percent) say they will invest most of their refund into the stock market, nearly doubling from 28 percent last year.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Traders are most bullish on the technology (37 percent) and energy (31 percent) sectors. Only nine percent favor financials and even fewer are optimistic about healthcare, minerals and consumer discretionary stocks.
  • Most respondents view Mitt Romney as the most market-friendly presidential candidate (56 percent), followed by President Obama (25 percent), Newt Gingrich (8 percent), Ron Paul (7 percent) and Rick Santorum (4 percent).
  • When asked what issues concern them most, respondents said the European debt crisis (29 percent), followed closely by unemployment (23 percent) and the depressed housing market (20 percent). Fewer than one in ten (8 percent) identified energy prices as a top concern.

“With major indices nearing record highs, our active trader client base is becoming increasingly optimistic,” said Kelli Keough, vice president of active trading at Charles Schwab. “As confidence improves and these bullish traders more eagerly embrace the market, we are seeing them adopt trading strategies that can help them manage risk and generate income.”

For More Information

Charles Schwab provides active traders with several trading platforms, free seminars and workshops, online education resources and 24-hour access to experienced trading specialists. For more information, please visit www.schwab.com/AT or call 800-435-9050.

Survey Methodology

Data from the Charles Schwab Active Trader Sentiment Survey were derived from responses of 421 active traders collected in late February 2012 and analyzed by Directive Analytics. Data on total (N=421) have a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval.

Diversification strategies do not assure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.6 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 794,000 banking accounts, and $1.81 trillion in client assets as of Feb. 29, 2012. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com. (0312-2017)

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Charles Schwab
Erin Montgomery, 212-403-9271
Intermarket Communications
Neil Shapiro, 212-754-5423

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