Is it wishful thinking, or do American investors have a better finger on the country’s economic pulse than financial analysts and experts?        

More Americans feel optimistic that 2013 will be brighter--both personally and economically--than this past year, according to the 2013 Outlook Survey released today by TD Ameritrade Inc.

The survey found that 43 percent of Americans are optimistic about 2013 and believe the economy is on the rebound. That's 19 percentage points more than the 24 percent who indicated they were optimistic about 2012 in the TD Ameritrade poll taken the same time last year. 

Thirty-four percent of Americans polled say they’re still uncertain about where the U.S. economy is going, down from 52 percent in last year’s TD Ameritrade poll. Additionally, 45 percent of Americans expect 2013 to be a better financial year than 2012 in terms of their own personal financial situation.

However, this uptick in optimism comes as the country faces the looming “fiscal cliff” where expiring tax cuts and across the board government spending cuts are set to go into effect Dec. 31.

“The impending fiscal cliff presents a lot of questions for traders--particularly how spending cuts or tax increases may affect different industries--which can open or close the door to potential trading opportunities,” J.J. Kinahan, TD Ameritrade's chief derivatives strategist, said in a statement. “This could add some volatility to the markets and could result in increased trading activity toward the end of the year.”