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Survey: Americans Prefer Long-Term Growth and Guarantees to Alternatives

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Americans overwhelmingly prefer choices that deliver high-quality, long-term growth and guarantees to options that are cheaper and faster in the short term, but may be higher risk or deliver less return over the long term, according to a new poll.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee, published this finding in a summary of results from a survey of 2,159 Americans asked to choose their preference in a series of tradeoffs. Completed in April, the online poll was concluded in by Harris Interactive, New York.

Among the poll’s findings:

–When asked if an immediate one-time bonus would be preferable to a smaller raise in salary, 87% of those polled indicated they would prefer a smaller raise that would yield more than the bonus in the long term. Only 13% indicated they would choose a one-time bonus.

–When comparing the potential for a large reward with low odds to a smaller guaranteed reward, 83% of people would take the smaller guaranteed reward. Only 17% will risk the lower odds of a larger reward.

–People are prepared to pay a premium for products that hold up over the long-term (82%) versus spending less now for products that are lower quality and need to be replaced sooner (18%).

–Warren S. Hersch