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UBS Index of Investor Optimism, 1996-2007

The Roper Center archives the entire collection of the UBS Index of Investor Optimism studies. A joint effort of UBS and the Gallup Organization, the UBS Index of Investor Optimism is the only ongoing survey of investor outlook in the United States and Europe. Introduced in 1996 as a quarterly survey, which became monthly in 1999, the Index profiles individual investors to ensure that their attitudes, perceptions and concerns are represented in the national dialogue. Through the Roper Center, the UBS Index of Investor Optimism - U.S. and Index - EU 5 data are available to researchers in several customized formats. For the U.S. Index findings, options include: a cumulative dataset of the overall Index measurement, spanning the survey from 1996-2002; cumulative overall dataset; and 125 separate datasets for each quarterly/monthly survey from 1996-2007. The European 2002-2003 data from the Index of Investor Optimism -EU 5 are provided in two formats: a separate dataset for each monthly survey; and a separate dataset for quarterly aggregate data broken out by each EU 5 country. Single country findings are released as quarterly averages only. This procedure ensures statistically reliable results.

Survey Methodology

From 1996 to 2007, UBS and the Gallup Organization have conducted random interviews of US investors, defined as household heads holding an investment portfolio of $10,000 or more. Gallup conducts 1,000 interviews of investors during the first two weeks of every month and results are reported on the last Monday of the month. In 2002, UBS extended the Index to include the five largest EU economies: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Sampling 200 investors each month in each country, results are reported in the aggregate for the region on a monthly basis and reported quarterly for each country.

Download Documentation

The documentation for the data file contains codes to the seven core questions that constitute the components of the three indices, the indices, filters, demographic questions, geographic fields, and the weight variable.

Codebook to the US Cumulative Data File, 1996-2002 (50 studies)

Codebooks to the US Individual Quarterly/Monthly Surveys, 1996-2007

Codebook to the EU Cumulative Data File, 2002-2003 (13 studies)

  • Five European Countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom)The corresponding data file contains documentation for the two identifiers:
    1. cumulative file organized by quarter including country codes and
    2. cumulative file organized by month not including country codes.

Data files

Survey results are available to Center members - UBS Index of Investor Optimism. Non-members can purchase the data files for a nominal flat fee by emailing Data Services at Data Services.

Indices Defined

The overall Index is calculated on the basis of seven questions, which cover the personal financial dimension and the macroeconomic dimension of investments. For each question, investors responses are measured on a five-point-scale (very optimistic, somewhat optimistic, neither optimistic nor pessimistic, somewhat pessimistic, very pessimistic). In the personal dimension, the following three questions are asked:

  • Overall, how optimistic are you that you will be able to achieve your investment targets over the next twelve months?
  • Overall, how optimistic are you that you will be able to achieve your investment targets over the next twelve months?
  • Thinking about your own household, and the things that impact on your ability to invest over the next twelve months, how would you rate your ability to maintain or increase your current income over the next twelve months?

The economic dimension covers factors that could affect the overall investment environment. Investors are asked, how they would rate, over the next twelve months:

  • Economic growth
  • Unemployment
  • Performance of the stock markets

For each question, an average is calculated, whereby the share of very optimistic responses is weighted with +2, the share of somewhat optimistic responses with +1, the share of neither optimistic nor pessimistic responses with 0, the share of somewhat pessimistic responses with -1, and the share of very pessimistic responses with -2. The mean of the three questions in the personal dimension constitutes the "Personal Index". Likewise, the "Economic Index" is the mean of the four questions in the economic dimension. The overall Index is the sum of the Personal Index and the Economic Index. Hence, the Index level reflects the balance of optimistic responses and pessimistic responses. A positive figure signals net optimism, i.e. optimism exceeds pessimism, and vice versa. The overall, personal, and economic indices are identically calculated for all countries so that they are directly comparable.