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Payroll tax changes have yet to affect behavior of many investors, John Hancock poll finds

Payroll tax changes have reduced take-home pay, but that has yet to persuade many investors to change their savings or spending patterns, according to a new poll from John Hancock, the Boston-based financial services company.

The company conducts a quarterly poll of affluent investors, and in its latest John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey, 52 percent of investors surveyed said they have not changed their behavior because of payroll tax changes while 32 percent said they are spending less and 19 percent said they are contributing less to savings.

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The survey seeks to measure investors’ feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment. The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and likelihood of purchasing financial products and services.

The online survey was conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates. A total of 1,066 investors were surveyed from Feb. 11 to Feb. 22. Respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household’s financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000 or more, John Hancock said.

John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial, a large financial services company headquartered in Canada.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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