Portfolio Strategy Shifts during COVID-19

Yahoo Finance | September 9, 2020

Yahoo Finance and the Harris Poll, in their ongoing partnership, asked Individual Investors about how their portfolio strategy and trading behavior has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the takeaways:

  • Compared to prior years, 36% of individual investors plan to invest a larger portion of their portfolio into equities compared to 16% who plan to invest less into equities and 48% who do not plan to make a change.
    • Men are much more bullish at 42% planning to invest a larger portion of their portfolio into equities.
    • Gen X exhibits the most confidence in equity stocks at 69%, much higher than Millennials & Gen Z who follow second at 47%.
  • This pattern continues when we ask investors how their trading behavior – more specifically frequency of individual stock trades – has changed since the start of the pandemic.
    • Nearly a third claim to have increased their trading frequency compared to 17% who are trading less and 50% who have not increased or decreased their trading frequency.
  • 43% of individual investors claim to have leveraged options, margins, or both since the start of the pandemic.
    • Options rank the highest at 23% for all equity investors and 47% of Gen X investors also claim to leverage this financial asset.
    • Equity investors who leverage margin significantly drops off to 10%
    • Most respondents remain conservative with 56% leveraging neither margin nor options
  • Of those who attempt to time the market, 44% of equity investors, they attempt to do so on average 4.5 times per month (median = 3)

This survey was fielded online from September 3 – September 4, 2020, among a nationally representative sample of 1,036 U.S adults. In this survey, equity investors are defined as owning 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.

For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Matthew Feider ([email protected]).

Download the full data