Skeptical Optimism

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. 32% of people feel bullish saying that it is a good time to increase investments in the stock market (41% of men feel this way vs. 21% of women), whereas only 19% of people feel bearish saying that it is a good time to decrease investment in the stock market.

Age seems to play a factor here as middle-aged people seem to be the most aggressive with investments in the stock market right now. 67% of people between the ages of 35-44 agree that it is a good time to invest, while only 9% of people between 35-44 believe it is a bad time to invest. This trails off quite a bit with the next most aggressive age group (18-34 year-olds). Only 37% of this younger generation say it is a good time to invest, while 32% of them believe it is a good time to decrease investments.

In addition to being more bullish on the market, men seem to be more aggressive with investing than women across the board. A vast majority of men (92%) have individual equity investments as compared to only 67% of women. On the flip side, 82% of women have general checking or saving accounts as compared to only 69% of men. This falls right in line with men feeling much more confident in achieving their investment goals as compared to women. 32% of men are very confident they will achieve their investment goals, whereas only 4% of women are very confident in achieving these goals.

Risk-taking has long been a characterization of younger generations, and this holds true when it comes to being willing to take on more financial risk. 92% of these 18-34 year-olds have individual equity investments, but less than half (42%) have general checking or savings accounts.

Despite this, there is a general lack of confidence in returns on equity investments right now. Just over 4 in 10 of those with equity investments (41%) believe that their expected annual returns over the next 5 years will be negative, and just over half of those with equity investments (51%) believe returns will be <5%.

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Methodology
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.