Investors in US, Canada and Asia divided on cash management but rank equities high according to Manulife Investor Sentiment Indices

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK:945

WATERLOO, ON, April 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Manulife surveyed over 6000 investors across Canada, the United States and Asia in Hong Kong; China; Taiwan; Japan; Singapore; Malaysia; Indonesia and the Philippines in the fall of 2014. All three investor sentiment indices show a divide between investor confidence in cash but similarities when it comes to equities. The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index is a measure of investors' views on a range of asset classes and savings and investment vehicles, as well as their confidence in these areas.

Cash (Investors)

Canada

  • 34 per cent say it's a good time to hold on to cash
  • 27 per cent say it's a bad time to hold on to cash

U.S.

  • 13 per cent say it's a good time to hold on to cash
  • 60 per cent of say it's a bad time to hold on to cash

Asia

  • 49 per cent say it's a good time to hold on to cash
  • 16 per cent say it's a bad time to hold on to cash

Stocks/Equities (Investors)

Canada

  • 44 per cent say it's a good time to invest in stocks and (55 per cent) say Balanced Mutual Funds
  • 11 per cent say it's not a good time to invest in stocks and (10 per cent) say Balanced Mutual Funds

U.S.

  • 60 per cent say it's a good time to invest in stocks and (58 per cent) say Balanced Mutual Funds
  • 10 per cent say it's not a good time to invest in stocks and (6 per cent) say Balanced Mutual Funds

Asia

  • 42 per cent say it's a good time to invest in stocks and (31 per cent) say Balanced Mutual Funds
  • 16 per cent say it's not a good time to invest in stocks or Balanced Mutual Funds

"The similarities in attitudes toward equities between North America and Asia run contrary to our expectations for central bank policy in the two regions over the next year," said Megan Greene, Chief Economist, Manulife Asset Management. "While the Bank of Japan and The People's Bank of China (PBOC) are likely to continue to engage in easy monetary policy and to purchase assets, the Fed in the US and the Bank of Canada are expected to begin tightening monetary policy. Loose monetary policy is generally supportive of equity markets, so we would expect investors to be more positive about equities in Asia than the US and Canada."

About the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index
The Manulife Investor Sentiment indices are developed in Canada, the United States and eight countries across Asia. Manulife has been measuring investor sentiment in Canada for the past 16 years, and extended this to its John Hancock operation in the U.S. in 2011. The indices measure investors' feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment. The Canadian ISI surveys both affluent and general population investors. Indices from John Hancock and in Asia poll affluent investors. ISI surveys are conducted quarterly in the U.S. by John Hancock and bi-annually in Canada and across Asia.

About Manulife
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. We operate as John Hancock in the U.S. and as Manulife in other parts of the world. We provide strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for our customers' significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Assets under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately C$691 billion (US$596 billion) as at December 31, 2014.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com


SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Image with caption: "Manulife Investor Sentiment Index: Cash, Stocks/Equities (CNW Group/Manulife Financial Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150421_C9179_PHOTO_EN_43431.jpg

For further information:

Media Contact: 
Rebecca Freiburger
Director, Media Relations
M. 519-503-6604
Rebecca_Freiburger@manulife.com
@ManulifeNews


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