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Optimism ticks up, but strategy still trumps emotion: ATB Investor Beat

Posted on: May 02, 2017

Edmonton - Optimism among some investors in Alberta is up, according to a new survey in the latest ATB Investor Beat.

“We asked Albertans to rate their optimism, or sentiment, toward investing, different investment products, and economic factors,” said Chris Turchansky, president of ATB Investor Services.

“We represented what we heard about the current investment landscape in an easy-to-understand index we call the Investor Beat Optimism Index.”

The index establishes scores below 50 as representing less optimistic outlooks for investment products, while a score over 50 reflects a more optimistic outlook. For the most recent survey results taken in January, the overall index stood at 56, up two points from the previous three months.

“A likely scenario on the gain are the recent positive gains in the market, especially with some stocks,” said Turchansky.

The index also found evidence for growing optimism in the economy.

“Albertans have been increasingly optimistic towards the global and Canadian economies for the past several months, and we are now seeing that trend in regards to our economy here in Alberta, with optimism rising four points from the previous quarter,” said Turchansky.

“Some of that may be the result of the relative stability of oil prices around the $50 mark.”

Turchansky said the optimism index provides a unique perspective on the feelings of investors, but noted the risk inherent in tying investment decisions to emotions.

“It is important to recognize your perceptions and possible biases to avoid making emotional decisions that may impact your investing success,” Turchansky said. “Always invest with investment goals in mind, a well-documented plan and a disciplined investment approach.”

The Investor Beat survey also found:

  • An increase in the percentage of Albertans listing retirement as their top financial goal. Since the same question was asked a year ago, the number has risen from 46 per cent to 52 per cent.
  • An increase in the percentage of Albertans who say they feel financially unprepared for an emergency. That number has risen from 52 per cent this time last year to 59 per cent now.
  • Albertans with $25,000 or less in investible assets, and women in general, have the least positive outlook for both the cost of living and job prospects.
  • A jump in the percentage of Albertans who have started to look for work outside the province. Since the three months that ended in January, that number is up from 14 per cent to 19 per cent.
  • Investment optimism, particularly with men and Edmonton residents, has risen over the previous three months in regards to Alberta’s economy.
  • Albertans living in Edmonton and Calgary are more optimistic about investment prospects than those living in smaller communities in the province.

The Investor Beat survey was conducted by Ipsos from January 3 to 14, 2017, and involved 1,004 participants. Results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

For the complete Investor Beat Optimism Index click here.

To schedule an interview with Chris Turchansky, please contact:

Glenn Kubish
ATB Financial

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