Investors’ confidence rose during the first quarter of 2012, according to the newly-released John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index.

According to the survey, investor sentiment improved to +21 in the first quarter of this year, compared with a score of +15 in the fourth quarter of 2011, the most substantial increase since the Index was started in early 2011. The improvement this past quarter was driven by a rise in positive attitudes toward investing in stocks and balanced mutual funds.

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