Investors are not optimistic about their ability to build and maintain retirement savings, according to the September Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index. Nearly two-thirds of investors—65 percent—say they have little or no control at all over their retirement savings.

According to the index, investor optimism is almost as low as it was during the financial crisis of 2008. The overall index fell to -45, down from +33 in May. In December 2008, the index fell to -49. Its lowest point was -64 in February 2009.

"A majority of Americans feel they don't have control over their effort to build retirement savings, and this is just as worrisome as the sharp drop in investor optimism," said David Carroll, senior executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement. "The reasons investors cite are all quite understandable given our environment today; yet, this lack of control coupled with overall feelings of fear could cause investors to make choices that will deter investing for the long-term."

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