Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index

U.S. investors say low interest rates (63%) are better than high interest rates (33%) when asked which would be better for their financial situation today, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index climbed to +79 in the third quarter, its highest point in more than nine years. A more positive outlook for the stock market provided the main impetus for the gains.

U.S. investors split into two camps in the method they prefer for interacting with the financial services firm that handles their investments. Fifty percent rely on digital options, while 47% say the branch or telephone is most important.

Less than half of U.S. investors have heard about robo-advisers. Those who have assign more positive attributes to human than robo-advisers, but robo-advisers fare well on fees, simplification, reliability and risk assessment.

Fewer retired U.S. investors today than in 2015 are optimistic that they can maintain their income or reach short-term investment targets over the next year. They remain optimistic about reaching their five-year investment goals.

U.S. investors are no more inclined now than a year ago to favor digital financial advice over traditional resources. About half still prefer relying on a personal financial adviser; 24% favor digital tools and 18% on-call advice.