Nearly two-thirds of individual investors have at least some confidence in the U.S. capital markets, according to a new survey by the Center for Audit Quality.

The 65 percent of the investors who expressed some confidence in U.S. markets marked an increase of 4 percentage points from 2011, in the last Main Street Investor Survey conducted by the CAQ. Investor confidence in investing in U.S. publicly traded companies held steady at 71 percent this year. Confidence dropped from 75 percent in 2010 to 70 percent in 2011, however. Since 2008, investor confidence in audited financial information has held steady at around 70 percent.

“Confidence in domestic markets has held remarkably steady throughout the financial crisis,” said CAQ executive director Cindy Fornelli in a statement. “Individual investors, as a group, have confidence in audited financial information released by public companies and believe that auditors are effective in looking out for investors’ interests.”

The CAQ survey also found that 70 percent of the 1,003 investors surveyed by phone in July believe that the American economy will either stay the same or improve over the next year; only 20 percent  believe it will get worse. Twenty-five percent of the investors surveyed expect their personal financial situation to improve, while 64 percent expect it to stay the same over the next year

The four top economic concerns investors have are not having enough money for retirement, not being able to afford health care if they or a family member are seriously ill or injured,  not being able to maintain their current standard of living, and fear of losing their jobs

Investors identified independent auditors, financial advisors and brokers, and audit committees as most effective in looking out for investors’ interests. Confidence in capital markets outside the United States fell to a low of 35 percent in 2012 from 43 percent in 2011.

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