November 4, 2014

CAQ “Pulse Poll” Explores Strong Investor Confidence in Stock Exchanges

Washington, DC – According to a new pulse poll from the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), data security, regulatory oversight, and longevity are the most important factors behind rising investor confidence levels in U.S. stock exchanges. 

The CAQ’s 2014 Main Street Investor Survey, which was released on October 9th, revealed substantial improvement in investor confidence in stock exchanges. Asked how much confidence investors have in a number of different entities when it comes to effective­ness in looking out for investors’ interests, 70% of investors express a great deal, quite a bit, or some confidence in stock exchanges. This was a jump from 55% in 2013.  

“Our survey indicates extraordinary growth in investor confidence in stock exchanges,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli. "Moreover, our pulse poll shows that the factors behind this increase go well beyond market performance.”

To explore the uptick in investor confidence in stock exchanges, the CAQ commissioned a third-party pulse poll of 375 investors. The poll revealed that the following key factors are “very important” to investor confidence in exchanges:

  • The security of the data that moves through the exchanges (75%)
  • The regulatory oversight of major exchanges (59%)
  • The longevity/stability of these exchanges (58%)
  • How well stocks are performing on major U.S. exchanges (48%)
  • The public companies that are traded on these exchanges (42%)     
  • The prestige of these exchanges (28%)

Like the Main Street Investor Survey, the pulse poll defines "investors" as adults over 18 who are the primary decision-makers for handling their household’s savings and investments, or share this role equally with another household member and who live in households with $10,000 or more in investments – including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, 401(k), and the like.

Main Street Investor Survey Methodology

A telephone survey of 1,049 investors was conducted August 12-20, 2014 by The Glover Park Group via telephone using a standard random digit dial (RDD) methodology. It has a margin of error of +/-3.0 percent. In addition to this survey in August, an attendant telephone survey was conducted with 375 investors from September 18-21, 2014. It has a margin of error of +/-5.1. 

Stock Exchange Pulse Poll Methodology

In a telephone survey conducted September 18 – 21, 2014, The Glover Park Group asked a series of questions related to investing and the capital markets.  This report presents the findings of an omnibus telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,000 adults, living in private households in the continental United States, of which 375 were investors. Interviews were conducted with respondents on landline and cellular phones. 

With a sample of this size, one can say with 95% certainty that the results have a sampling error of +/‐ 5.1 percentage points of what they would be if the entire population of investors had been polled with complete accuracy.  

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About the CAQ

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) is an autonomous public policy organization dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets. The CAQ fosters high quality performance by public company auditors, convenes and collaborates with other stakeholders to advance the discussion of critical issues requiring action and intervention, and advocates policies and standards that promote public company auditors’ objectivity, effectiveness, and responsiveness to dynamic market conditions. Based in Washington, DC, the CAQ is affiliated with the American Institute of CPAs. For more information, visit www.thecaq.org.