Despite promising signs of a recovering market, investors are holding out, with more than six in 10 (61%) saying that Americans are pessimistic about the markets, a survey commissioned by BNY Mellon Wealth Management has found.

The pessimism is leading investors to delay making investment or planning decisions. Nearly six in 10 (59%) said they are waiting for conditions to improve before taking action. Others are holding off until after the Presidential election to make investment decisions (nearly 40%).  Still others—more than one in three—are waiting to get a better sense of where tax and interest rates are headed before making any investment or planning decision.

“When it comes to how investors feel about the financial markets, you could say that bleak is the new black,” Larry Hughes, CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, said in a statement. “Many are so negative about the markets that they find it hard to believe that something could possibly go right. We maintain that compelling investment opportunities still exist—that is, for those ready to take action.”

The survey also revealed that nearly half (48%) of American investors believe they will run out of money at some point in their lifetime. That’s up from 30% just 10 years ago, according to the survey.

The telephone survey was based on a national probability sample of 637 adults who invest in the markets. It was conducted by ORC International from February 9 – 12, 2012.

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