Canada advisers less bullish on market, poll finds

Wed Apr 7, 2010 4:07pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian financial advisers have become less optimistic over the past few months, especially in their outlook for the stock market, according to a poll released on Wednesday by BetaPro Management Inc.

The survey asked nearly 200 advisers, who oversee around C$20 billion ($20 billion) in client assets, whether they are "bullish, bearish or neutral" in their outlook for the anticipated second quarter returns of 15 distinct asset classes.

Bullish sentiment fell from the first quarter on 14 of the 15 asset classes.

Only silver saw an increase in optimism, up 1 percent.

Positive sentiment for Canadian stocks fell to 58 percent from 70 percent in the last survey.

Almost one in three advisers said they were bearish in their outlook for the S&P/TSX 60 index, which is up from 19 percent.

"Most markets have seen a tremendous run-up since hitting lows in March 2009, but it appears there are a growing number of advisors who are unsure whether the pace of returns are sustainable," Howard Atkinson, president of BetaPro, said in a release.

"Previous adviser sentiment surveys have been fairly accurate -- including accurate forecasts for 11 of 15 asset classes in Q1 2010. These Q2 2010 forecasts seem to suggest increased uncertainty amongst advisers."

On U.S. stocks, 44 percent of advisers were bullish, down from 58 percent, despite a 4.87 percent return in the S&P 500 index in the first quarter of 2010.   Continued...