According to a recent Gallup Poll, US investors have become increasingly jaded towards the caprices of the stock market. The results of the poll show that only 54% of American’s today hold ownership of individual stocks or stock mutual funds in their IRA and 401Ks, the lowest percentage of ownership reported in over a decade.
Notably, there was significant stratification across political and socioeconomic lines in this distinction, as 87% of upper income Americans, 64% of Republicans, and 73% of college grads said they owned stocks.
Rivaling the market in perceived safety as a long-term investment was real estate, which was notched by 33% of polltakers as the best place to put their money. The perceived safety of Real Estate may come as something of a surprise given freefalling home prices and the prevalence of foreclosures, though relative to the risk of another financial collapse it may be perceived as a safer bet.
Despite the reluctance of the majority of the population to entrust their money to wall street, it seems that all hope in the market is not lost, as 25% of poll respondents still believed that the stock market was the best place to put their money in the long run.
Owners and non-owners of stock agreed upon the merits of real estate as long-term investment, though market stakeholders had slightly more confidence in the future performance of stocks and mutual funds.