Investors are no longer pessimistic when it comes to the securities industry, the Financial Times reports, citing a survey of 1,535 investors by Sanford Bernstein. But that confidence is leading many to overestimate their own holdings, with the average investor reporting their domestic equity portfolio has increased 9.6% over the past 12 months, which is impossible considering the S& P 500 benchmark index has gained a mere 5.5%.

"The U.S. securities industry is in the midst of a retail recovery that begun in August 2004 and has accelerated since then," said Brad Hintz, a Sanford Bernstein brokerage analyst. "Trading volumes of retail investors have risen substantially and new money has continued to flow into mutual funds."

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