Investment optimism remains high

The news is pretty good in the latest barometer reading of people’s intentions. Investor confidence is at record high levels, managed funds are picked as the second most popular investment and the awareness of KiwiSaver continues to grow.

In the latest ASB Investor Confidence survey, overall investor confidence rose one point from the previous quarter to a net 25%, the highest rating on record.

This record level of investor confidence has built up over four consecutive quarters, from an historical low of just 9% in the first quarter of last year.

The rise in confidence was fuelled by an increase in people who expected their investment returns to be better than last year, up four points to 36%. This result was also offsetting a slight increase in people who thought their returns would be worse than last year, which was up two points to 10%.

Residential rental property remains the highest ranked asset class, up slightly to a net 21%; however this result is still some way short of its record high of 25% back in 2000.

“Diversity of investment appears to be the key, with continued growth in confidence in residential rental returns. The continued performance of the share market, both in New Zealand and overseas, has led to managed funds holding steady in number two position,? ASB of Investment Services head of investment services Jonathan Beale says.

“While the jitters caused by the wobble in China during February may have translated into the slight decrease in confidence in shares, down 1%, that impact has not flowed through to managed funds.?

Knowledge of KiwiSaver continues to increase as its 1 July introduction date looms closer, with 77% of respondents reporting awareness, up from 72% last quarter.