Active Traders Are Bullish on Equities but Economic and Political Concerns Remain

  Active Traders Are Bullish on Equities but Economic and Political Concerns
  Remain

Business Wire

SAN FRANCISCO -- April 30, 2013

Active traders are expressing renewed optimism about the U.S. stock market,
despite ongoing concerns about the economic and political environment,
according to new data from two Charles Schwab studies released today. In
Schwab’s most recent Active Trader Sentiment Survey, 52 percent of active
trader clients say they have a bullish outlook on stocks in the next three to
six months, while only 17 percent consider themselves bearish.

While respondents expressed general enthusiasm about stocks, they also
acknowledge that global economic issues (27 percent) and the U.S. budget
deficit (20 percent) are currently high on their list of concerns. In
addition, while many major market averages are at or near all-time highs, only
12 percent of respondents say their biggest concern is that the stock market
is over-inflated. A relatively small number express concern about the health
of the U.S. housing market (2 percent), inflation (5 percent) or unemployment
(8 percent).

Separately, 61 percent of active trader clients surveyed in Schwab’s Q1 2013
Investor Confidence Study say this is a good or very good time to invest in
equities, a significant increase from just 33 percent who felt this way in the
fourth quarter of 2012. Fifty-eight percent of active traders in this survey
also say they feel extremely or very confident making investment decisions
now, compared to 50 percent last quarter.

“We’ve seen an overall shift in sentiment among active trader clients from
wariness in the fourth quarter of 2012 to cautious optimism going into the
second quarter of this year,” noted Kelli Keough, Senior Vice President of
Client Experience at Charles Schwab. “When talking to our clients, we continue
to emphasize that education, discipline and strategy are key to staying nimble
in the current market environment.”

Additional key findings of the Active Trader Sentiment Survey include:

  *New opportunities seen in healthcare. More than a quarter of respondents
    (27 percent) say they are most bullish on the healthcare sector, compared
    to 17 percent in November 2012 and up from just six percent one year ago.
    Other sectors viewed favorably in the latest survey include energy (18
    percent), technology (16 percent) and financials (14 percent).
  *Diversification outside of the U.S. is important. While the majority of
    active traders favor domestic investing opportunities, nearly one quarter
    (24 percent) believe markets outside the United States offer a better
    opportunity for growth.
  *Portfolio risk is a concern. Less than 14 percent of traders say they are
    “very confident” that their portfolios are properly hedged against risk.
    More than one-third consider themselves “not confident enough.”
  *Government suspicion remains. An overwhelming majority  of respondents (63
    percent) give the government a grade of “D” or “F” when it comes to
    pursuing pro-investing policies. Only one percent say the government
    deserves an “A.”

Schwab provides active traders with cutting-edge trading platforms, free
seminars and workshops, online education resources and24-hour access to
experienced trading specialists, with no minimum trade requirements. For more
information, please visit www.schwab.com/AT or call 888-245-6864.

Follow us on Twitter: @Schwab4Traders.

About the Charles Schwab Active Trader Sentiment Survey

Data from the Charles Schwab Active Trader Sentiment Survey were derived from
responses of approximately 200 attendees of Charles Schwab’s virtual trader
event on March 28, 2013.

About the Charles Schwab Investor Confidence Study

Data from the Charles Schwab Investor Confidence Survey were derived from
responses of 1,150 retail clients. Online interviews were conducted from March
8 through March 20, 2013.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial
services, with more than 300 offices and 8.9 million active brokerage
accounts, 1.6 million corporate retirement plan participants, 888,000 banking
accounts, and $2.08 trillion in client assets as of March 31, 2013. The
company was ranked ’Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed
Services’ in the 2012 US Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study^SM from
J.D. Power and Associates. 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; compliance and trade monitoring solutions;
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 trust and custody
services, banking and lending services and products. Investment products
offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not
deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank, and are subject to investment
risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. More information is
available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com. (0413-3246)

International investments are subject to additional risks such as currency
fluctuation, geopolitical risk and the potential for illiquid markets.

Contact:

Charles Schwab
Erin Montgomery, 212-403-9271
Erin.Montgomery@schwab.com
or
Intermarket Communications
Nick Lawler, 212-754-5613
nlawler@intermarket.com
 
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