TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK:945
First time comparison of Manulife and John Hancock survey results
Canadian and American investor confidence rose in the final quarter of
Canadians and Americans aligned in financial New Year's resolutions to
save for retirement, reduce debt and trim budgets
Over half of American investors consult with a financial advisor, along
with almost three in four Canadian investors
Canadians believe it's a good time to invest in their homes while
Americans indicate it's a good time to invest in mutual funds
TORONTO, Jan. 25, 2012 /CNW/ - North American investors are feeling
optimistic, according to Investor Sentiment Index (ISI) surveys
conducted by both Manulife Financial and John Hancock. In the
first-ever comparison of the two surveys, results suggest that
Canadians are nearly twice as likely to view the present as a "good" or
"very good" time to be investing in a range of investment vehicles as
are their American counterparts.
The Canadian Manulife ISI, carried out in December 2011, rose five
points and hit a year end high of +26, while the American John Hancock
ISI showed a similar increase of five points and ended the year at
+15. Manulife Financial also conducted a supplementary survey targeted
at the same financial demographic as John Hancock's ISI; that index
score was +27.
"Growing consumer confidence is an important barometer when looking at
the future health of the economy on either side of the border," said
Bill Cheney Chief Economist for the companies. "Consumer confidence
usually translates into increased spending, a critical component to
keep their economies moving forward."
The Canadian and American investors surveyed demonstrate comparable
views about their future financial well-being. Fifty-five percent of
Canadians feel they would be better off financially two years from now,
with 37 percent saying their situation would be the same, and eight
percent saying they expect to be worse off financially. Fifty-three
percent of Americans surveyed believe they would be in a better
financial position, with 38 percent expecting to be in the same
financial situation, and nine percent expecting to be worse off.
When asked about using a financial advisor, 53 percent of American
investors say they use a financial advisor versus 68 percent of
Outcomes from Manulife Financial's supplementary survey and John
Hancock's ISI indicate that Canadians and Americans share many
similarities despite differences in investment climate, tax regulations
and social infrastructure. The top financial concerns for 2012 in both
markets are: decreasing investment values, ability to save for
retirement, and managing personal debt. As their top three financial
resolutions for the New Year, both Americans and Canadians rank saving
for retirement as their #1 goal, followed by reducing non-mortgage debt
and trimming household budgets.
Regarding specific investments, Canadians had a clear preference for
investing in their own homes. Americans were more inclined to invest in
balanced mutual funds than were their Canadian counterparts, and they
had a much stronger aversion to keeping their funds in cash or
About the Investor Sentiment Index Surveys
Both Investor Sentiment Index surveys are computed in a similar fashion.
The survey measures investors' feelings about the current economic
climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad
investment given the current environment. The poll also asks consumers
about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and likelihood
of purchasing financial products and services.
An online survey of approximately 1,000 investors was conducted in
December (U.S.) and early January (Canada). Both surveys included
household decision-makers at least 25 years of age, with household
income of at least $75,000 and investable assets of at least $100,000.
The Canadian research is based on an internet survey of 1,000 affluent
Canadians conducted between January 5 and 11, 2012 by Research House,
an Environics Company. The U.S. survey was conducted by independent
research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates. A total of 1,001
investors were surveyed between November 28 and December 6, 2011.
Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now's online
In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be
plus or minus +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20. Due to rounding and
missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100
About Manulife Financial and John Hancock Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group
operating in 21 countries and territories worldwide. John Hancock
Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation. In 2012, John
Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United
States, while Manulife Financial celebrates 125 years of providing
clients strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions
for their most significant financial decisions.
Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and
primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial
offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and
wealth management services through its extensive network of employees,
agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife
Financial and its subsidiaries were C$492 billion (US$473 billion) as
at September 30, 2011. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC'
on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife
Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
For more information about Manulife Financial please visit manulife.com and for more information about John Hancock please visit johnhancock.com
SOURCE Manulife Financial
For further information:
AVP, Media Relations
Manulife Financial Canadian Division