The American College Launches New Monthly Online Poll in Connections Newsletter

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The American College, the nation's premiere educator of financial services professionals, announced today the results from its first monthly newsletter poll. An interactive reader response poll question is now a regular monthly feature in Connections, an e-publication distributed by The College to over 100,000 members of the financial services community, including students, alumni and friends of the institution.

Do you think the Dow will reclaim 14,000 by the end of the year?

The American College, the nation's premiere educator of financial services professionals, announced today the results from its first monthly newsletter poll. An interactive reader response poll question is now a regular monthly feature in Connections, an e-publication distributed by The College to over 100,000 members of the financial services community, including students, alumni and friends of the institution.

This month's question gauged the confidence of financial professionals in the stock market by asking, "Do you think the Dow will reclaim 14,000 by the end of the year?" With 635 responses, a decisive 80 percent said "no," with 20 percent responding "yes."

"These monthly polls help members of the financial services community better understand the views of their peers on issues of importance that affect their business," said Larry Barton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of The American College. "Our students and graduates represent some the most successful and knowledgeable professionals in the industry. Their opinions on news, events and trends will be of interest to both their peers and the public."

The poll serves as a snapshot of the opinions held by Connections readers and will help stimulate thought-provoking discussions about financial services topics, helping to enrich The College's outstanding educational offerings. While not vetted for statistical significance, the results of this month's poll are consistent with other investor confidence research.

According to a survey conducted by the Center for Audit Quality in July 2008, investors are adopting an increasingly gloomy stance toward U.S. markets, despite some improved consumer confidence overall. Seventy percent of investors surveyed expressed confidence in U.S. capital markets -- down from 84 percent a year ago. Twenty-three percent of the individuals surveyed reported that they are investing less.

A recent Reuters/University of Michigan survey also reported an erosion in investor confidence. According to their research, consumers felt there was only a 40.6 percent chance their stock holdings would rise in the coming year. This was the lowest number since the question was first asked in 2002. Pessimism was consistent across all income levels and investor ages.

Individuals interested in participating in future polls and receiving news from The American College are encouraged to register online and become a Connections subscriber. A link to the registration page and archived editions of previous issues of Connections are available at TheAmericanCollege.edu/enewsletter

The American College is dedicated to leadership in innovative training and development that helps financial services companies and their employees succeed. As a non-profit educational institution holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others for over 80 years. The American College's faculty represents some of the financial services industry's foremost thought leaders. For more information, visit TheAmericanCollege.edu

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