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Yahoo Finance - Harris Poll Investor Index

An In-Depth Look into the Shifts in Public Opinion on Investment Strategies

Updated monthly by Yahoo Finance and The Harris Poll to track individual and institutional investor decisions

THE LATEST INSIGHTS

Bullish vs. Bearish

Although there is a lack of confidence in returns over the next 5 years, data shows that people are still feeling aggressive in investing in the stock market right now.

Asset 1@4x

Savings Accounts Remain Safe Bet, but Other Financial Assets are Trending

76% of people currently have checking/savings accounts, but we especially have seen a jump this month in fixed/variable annuities (up to 26% from 13%), term of life insurance (up to 38% from 32%) and equity stocks (up 36% from 29%).

What Do the Experts Think?

The Institutional Investors and General Public have some big gaps in what current financial assets they hold – including a huge difference in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) (54% Institutional Investors vs. 23% General Public) and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that is NOT employer-sponsored (64% Institutional Investors vs. 53% General Public).

Nearly Half of Americans Have More Than 40% of Their Savings in Equities

48% of people have more than 40% of their personal savings invested in equities.

People are Feeling a Bit Less Pessimistic About Their Equity Investment Returns

As of June 18th, 41% of people with equity investments believed that their expected annual returns over the next 5 years would be negative, but as of August 6th we find that number has decreased to 19%.

What Do the Experts Think?

Institutional Investors are definitely feeling more optimistic here than the General Public. 58% of experts believe their expected annual return over the next 5 years will be 5-10%, but only 36% of the General Public agrees.

Mixed Market Valuation Emotions

Beliefs on the valuation of equity stocks right now are all over the place. 21% (down from 29%) of people believe equity stocks are undervalued 43% (down from 44%) believe they are fairly valued, and 23% (down from 27%) believe they are overvalued.

What Do the Experts Think?

46% of Institutional Investors feel strongly that equity stocks are overvalued, while only 17% of the General Public agrees.

Confidence Boost

As of August 6th, 40% of people are confident that they will achieve their investment goals, which is a whopping 15% increase since June.

Faith in the Fed

The majority of people (53%) think that the Federal Reserve has set interest rates just right.

Purchases of the Past, Perceptions for the Future

Almost one-third (28%) of people have made a large-scale purchase in the last 3 months as a result of current interest rates, but what are people saying about the next 3 months? Now, 50% are more likely to make a large-scale purchase in the next 3 months as a result of current interest rates, which is up from the 42% of people that said this in June.

The News is America's Biggest Financial Influencer

Without a doubt, Americans’ investment decisions are being heavily influenced by the news/current events, or so 72% of them currently say (vs. 57% in June).

What Do the Experts Think?

Although the General Public places their faith in current events/news (71%), political decisions have the most influence on financial decisions when it comes to Institutional Investors (78%).

Nearly Three-Fourths of People Believe that Equity Investments are the Best Investments

Although opinions vary on what are the best investments right now, people seem to agree that just keeping money in checking accounts or traditional savings accounts is not the way to go, with only 10% believing that it is one of the best investments right now.

What Do the Experts Think?

Institutional Investors (48%) and the General Public (36%) believe that mutual funds are the best investments right now, closely followed by equity stocks (40% and 29% respectively). That being said, Institutional Investors are focusing more on ETFs (38%) and annuities (40%), while the General Public are focused on IRAs (33%), individual bonds (24%), and commodity stocks (27%).

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Yahoo Finance - Harris Poll Investor Index Data

HARRIS POLL YAHOO FINANCE PERSONAL INVESTMENT SURVEY WAVE 2

This survey was fielded online from July 28 – August 7, 2020, among a nationally representative sample of 200 U.S adults and a sample of 50 institutional investors .with financial assets or Investments in any of the following: Equity stocks, Individual bonds, commodity stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Fixed or Variable Annuities or IRA. The data was weighted to ensure results are projectable to appropriate U.S. populations.

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HARRIS POLL YAHOO FINANCE PERSONAL INVESTMENT SURVEY WAVE 1

This survey was fielded online from June 17 – 18, 2020, among a nationally representative sample of 200 U.S adults with financial assets or Investments in any of the following: Equity stocks, Individual bonds, commodity stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Fixed or Variable Annuities or IRA. The data was weighted to ensure results are projectable to appropriate U.S. populations.

Download PDF Data tabs