Individual investor optimism jumped to a nine-year high in November, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index published Tuesday.
The 96 read last month marked the third straight quarterly rise and was up from 79 in the third quarter, the survey said. The last time the index approached the November level was before the financial crisis, in May 2007 with a read of 95, the report said. The index was at 103 in January 2007.
"Rising investor optimism and the stock market reaching all-time highs is great news to end the year on, but it isn't necessarily driving investors to put their money into the markets," Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said in the release. "Investors are more interested in the markets, but it takes time for this optimism to translate to flows into the stock market, especially when investors have been cautious for so long," he said.
The poll was conducted by phone Nov. 16 to 20, just over a week after the U.S. presidential election. At the time, the Dow Jones industrial average had gained more than 500 points postelection but hadn't crossed 19,000 yet.
The Wells Fargo/Gallup study surveyed 1,012 U.S. investors with total savings and investments of at least $10,000. About 40 percent of American households fall in that category, the report said.