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Working Lunch Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 13:39 GMT
Sharing your thoughts
Adam Shaw with survey results

We asked what your attitude to shares was - and you certainly told us.

Almost 1,200 of you replied to our questionnaire about the stock market.

You're not very confident about investing in equities at the moment, but can't really see anywhere that offers a decent return with acceptable risk.

In fact, most of you think that in the long-term, shares are still the best bet.

Let's look at the figures.

We asked you how confident you were in the market at the moment.

More than 60% are not that confident about buying shares. Only 6% said they were very confident.

Panic selling

But although you clearly have concerns, there's not been a stampede of panic selling.

The majority of you - 60% - say you've neither bought nor sold any shares this year. You're sitting tight.

But 18% obviously think it's a good time to snap up some bargains and have bought shares but haven't sold any.

FTSE 100 predictions
So where do you think the FTSE will be at the end of this year?

More than 70% predict that the index of 100 top shares will be below 4,000 - more or less where it is now.

However, 28% think there will be a significant rise, to between 4,000 and 5,000.

But it's unlikely to go above 5,000 - only 0.5% of you thought we'd reach those heady heights this year.

Despite all these problems, though, more than 80% said shares would outperform the majority of other investments over the next 20 years.

Interestingly, a very similar number rate property as a strong investment over the long term.

Pessimistic

But overall you're pretty pessimistic about investing.

We asked whether you agree with the statement that there is nowhere to invest which can offer a decent return and an acceptable level of risk.

Graphic
Where you'd put your money...
A good majority of you think there is nowhere good to invest.

Just 10% said they strongly disagreed.

So where do you choose to invest your cash?

You're clearly cautious:

  • 49% say a bank or building society account
  • 30% say property
  • surprisingly just 1% of you would put your money in a pension
  • that's even fewer than those who would simply stick their money under the bed - 3% of you.

    Stockbroker Morven Whyte
    Morven Whyte: Accurate picture
    "The questionnaire is very accurate for the mood of people just now," says Morven Whyte of stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley.

    "In the long term, things will be OK I'm sure, but you've got to sit tight and ride out the short term weakness.

    "The important thing is to look at real returns - what is inflation and what are you getting?

    "There's no point you receiving a 10% return when inflation is 12%. We've got the inverse of that just now, so look at real returns and not the actual headline figure."

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