Fifty-five percent of investors believe the economy will improve within the next 12 months, Scottrade found in a survey 1,143 investors in late July. Another 79% said they think the stock market is resilient and will provide long-term investment gains. In addition, 51% believe they will recoup their investments losses within the next three years.

“Investors are still stressed over personal finances, but stress levels have stabilized and attitudes are on the upswing,” said Chris X. Moloney, chief marketing officer and executive director of customer intelligence at Scottrade.

“This new data shows the most optimism we’ve seen since the economic crisis began,” Moloney added. “Especially encouraging is that 80% of seniors, those born before 1945—the group who has the most experience with economic ups and downs—continue to have confidence in the market.”

What is probably driving this confidence, Moloney said, is that home sales and consumer confidence is up. “Investors are taking notice, and these broad economic improvements are likely adding to their optimism when it comes to investing.”

Because the crisis has prompted 70% of investors to become more hands-on with respect to their personal finances, this is probably giving them a better sense of control, he added.

Scottrade found that 29% are checking their accounts more often; 25% are taking the time to understand where they stand financially; 19% are looking to see if their portfolios are properly diversified; 18% are educating themselves, primarily through financial websites, before making an investment decision; and 16% are learning more about the economy.

Scottrade itself recently launched a Knowledge Center on its website, where customers will find almost 2,000 up-to-date educational articles and interactive financial planning tools and tutorials for all types of investors and traders, from beginners to experts. “As more investors seek information to help them take control of their investments, education becomes paramount,” Moloney said.

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