Investors’ outlook is cautiously optimistic, with nearly half expecting gains in the year ahead despite their concerns over the sluggish economy, Scottrade found in a survey.

Driving the improved outlook is performance; 44% of investors’ portfolios have risen over the past year (11% by a lot, 33% by a little), whereas 29% reported gains in 2009. On the flip side, only 24% reported a decline in 2010, whereas the portfolios of 51% declined the year before.

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