The combination of cheaper stocks and the need for alternatives to low-interest rate savings accounts could see a number of active investors re-enter the stockmarket in the coming months. Half of active investors plan to increase their stock market exposure over the next few months, up from under four in ten a year ago, according to The Association of Investment Companies' (AIC) latest Investor Confidence Index. Of those expected to increase their stock portfolios, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) admitted that stock market falls represent a buying opportunity, with 19 per cent citing poor rates of interest on savings accounts as their primary reason. Only 11 per cent of people said that they were planning to decrease their stock market exposure in the near future, while 36 per cent are likely to hold steady. The popularity of cash ISAs could well take a small hit in the first half of 2009, however, as fewer investors are looking to opt for such an account this year (22 per cent), compared to 2008 (28 per cent.) "The recent market volatility is understandably concerning for investors but whilst none of us can be sure of the markets' next move, it demonstrates the importance of taking a long-term view of your investments," said Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director of the AIC. "In the past brave investors who have taken the long-term view and have invested in troubled times have been rewarded later on."
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