Only 18% of Americans plan to increase their stock market investments this year, survey finds

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The stock market’s roller-coaster ride isn’t inspiring confidence in investors. Still, a small portion do plan to take advantage of recent price dips.

About 18% of Americans are willing to put more money into stock market investments this year, including retirement accounts, according to a recent survey from Bankrate. The online survey polled more than 1,500 investors April 19-22.

“When markets pull back, it does represent a good buying opportunity, particularly for the automatic savings that happen through a 401(k),” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. “A volatile year like this could in the long-run prove to be an attractive buying opportunity and you’ll be glad you invested more.”

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On the flip side, more than 50% of investors said they’ll keep their investment amounts the same this year. Only 18% plan on decreasing the amount of money they’ll put into stocks in 2022, according to the report.         

Who plans to boost investments

Younger investors, including Gen Zs and millennials, are the most likely to say they’ll boost stock market investments this year, the survey found.

That’s a positive sign, as it shows they’re establishing and sticking to solid financial habits, according to McBride.

“They have the longest time horizon until retirement,” he said. “Having that longer-term view and investing more is something that can compound and grow over an extended period of time.”

Baby boomers were the most likely to say that they’ll decrease investments in stocks this year, but that’s likely more tied to their retirement timeframes than fear of market volatility or inflation.

“It could just be a part of normal financial planning as they near retirement or progress through retirement,” said McBride.

Market volatility

Many investors are trying to tune out market noise, the survey found.

So far, 56% of investors have made no changes to investments due to volatility, according to the report. Of those who have made changes, 14% bought more stocks and 16% either moved money out of their investment accounts or decided against buying more.

Similarly, 62% of investors have taken no action even amid rising inflation.

This is generally a good strategy, according to Shweta Lawande, a certified financial planner and lead advisor at Francis Financial, a New York-based firm.

“We’re focusing on what we can control,” she said. In addition, keeping automatic, consistent payments going to retirement or other investment accounts over time can help offset volatility like the recent choppiness.

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Sophie Tremblay

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