Americans feel cynical about stock market investing due to the economic shock caused by coronavirus. 21% of Americans who think stocks or mutual funds are the best long-term investment is down by six points from 2019 and the lowest percentage recorded by Gallup since 2012. Real estate ranked first, followed by gold and savings accounts.
Since 2013, 35% of Americans say real estate is the most recommended long-term investment. And since 2016, over one-third of Americans have named real estate as the top investment.
Stocks and mutual funds remain the second most preferred long-term investment, despite the dip. Savings accounts or CDs (17%) and gold (16%) followed. Bonds lagged at roughly 8%.
Stockowners have also lost interest in stocks or mutual funds — with the percentage naming stocks dropping from 37% in 2019 to 30% now.
The results came from Gallup’s annual Economy and Finance survey that was conducted from April 1–14 among 1,017 U.S. adults.
High-income Americans believe stocks and mutual funds as the best long-term investment. However, the drop occurred among both high-income and low-income Americans, with a decline of nine points each from last year’s survey, while the percentage of middle-income respondents who chose stocks or mutual funds did not change.
The survey shows that the ownership of stocks is stable at 55% of Americans. But confidence among stock owners fell, with only 30% picking stocks and mutual funds as the best investment — down from 37% in 2019. And even after a decade of economic expansion and record stock market gains, the percentage of Americans that own stocks have not reached its 63% peak from before the Great Recession. A low was reached by 52% in 2013.
65% of high-income households said investing $1,000 in the stock market is a good idea, but 47% of middle-income households and 39% of low-income households agreed. Over half of stock owners believe the investment to be valuable, while the sentiment among non-investors hovered closer to a third.
Stocks appeal’ may have faded after the longest-running bull market in the U.S. history ended, they still ranked as the second most valued investment. However, the economic fallout from coronavirus could scramble Americans’ preferences as the stock market is at risk and the real estate market’s future is uncertain.