New Charles Schwab Survey Finds Most Active Traders Plan to Invest Tax Refunds

Traders more optimistic about stock market; value easy-to-use trading platforms

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 7:00 am PDT



Public Company Information:

"The trading platform is often the single biggest influence in how a trader perceives and reacts to market-making events. At Schwab, we are committed to providing our active trader clients with an approachable easy to use platform that helps them confidently interact with the market and make smarter trading decisions."

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles Schwab today released new data showing that active traders are feeling bullish and plan to invest their tax refunds in the stock market. The latest Charles Schwab Active Trader Sentiment Survey polled more than 650 individual investors who trade frequently (at least 36 times per year) and found that 72 percent of those traders who are expecting a tax refund this year plan on investing at least some of it. In fact, more than a quarter of respondents (28%) say they will put the entire refund into their investment portfolios.

According to the survey, overall optimism about market conditions hit its highest level since the end of 2009. Nearly half of those traders surveyed (47%) said they are currently bullish, compared to 38 percent last November and up from just 28 percent in April 2010.

Other key findings include:

  • More than three quarters (77%) consider market volatility a friend versus a foe, up from 71 percent in November 2010.
  • Traders are most bullish on the technology sector (36%), followed by materials (26%) and financials (13%). Only four percent of traders said the energy sector looked most promising to them and just one percent identified commodities as the sector they were optimistic about.
  • Roughly half (49%) own foreign stocks mostly through American Depository Receipts (ADRs) or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), down from 56 percent in November, possibly reflecting the crisis in Japan and continued unrest in the Middle East.

Traders Taking Action

Optimism about the market appears to be pushing traders into action. One in four (25%) recently changed their portfolio allocation to include less cash. And, more than two-thirds (69%) plan to make more than 36 trades this year.

Traders said an easy-to-use trading platform (26%) was most important to them, followed closely by access to research (25%) and cost (20%).

“These survey results reinforce what we are already seeing among our client base,” noted Kelli Keough, vice president of active trading at Charles Schwab. “The trading platform is often the single biggest influence in how a trader perceives and reacts to market-making events. At Schwab, we are committed to providing our active trader clients with an approachable easy to use platform that helps them confidently interact with the market and make smarter trading decisions.”

Charles Schwab recently unveiled a new flagship platform for active traders called StreetSmart Edge™. The platform is based on feedback from clients and Schwab’s extensive research on trader preferences and behavior, including observing how traders interact with their current trading platforms. For more information, traders can visit or call 1-877-566-0905.

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, including StreetSmart Edge eligibility requirements, please visit or call 800-435-9050.

Survey Methodology

Survey data was derived from responses of 653 active traders and investors collected from March – April 2011. The data was analyzed by Directive Analytics and has a statistical accuracy at the 90 percent and 95 percent confidence levels.

Some specialized exchange-traded funds can be subject to additional market risks. Investment returns will fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor's shares, when redeemed or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Investors should carefully consider information contained in the prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. You can request a prospectus by calling Schwab at 800-435-4000. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Since a sector fund is typically not diversified and focuses its investments on companies involved in a specific sector, the fund may involve a greater degree of risk than an investment in other mutual funds with greater diversification.

International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, political instability, foreign taxes and regulations and the potential for illiquid markets.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.1 million client brokerage accounts, 1.44 million corporate retirement plan participants, 719,000 banking accounts, and $1.65 trillion in client assets. 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,, 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 its Advisor Services division. 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 and (0411-2859)


Charles Schwab
Alison Wertheim, 415-667-0475
Intermarket Communications
Neil Shapiro, 212-754-5423

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