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TD Ameritrade survey: investors largely neutral about stocks

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Retail investors are largely neutral about investing in equities for the long-term, according to a new survey.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NYSE: AMTD) released this finding in a new online poll of 1,089 investors to ascertain their views on economic conditions and the stock market outlook. Conducted by Research Now on behalf of TD Ameritrade, the poll was limited to investors who have $10,000-plus in investable assets, own securities in brokerage accounts, are 18 years or older, manage their portfolios and have traded securities at least once in the past 12 months.

When asked to rate their confidence in the stock market as a good place for their long-term investments on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being unconfident and 10 being highly confident, retail investors are largely neutral, giving a mean response of 6.40, the study discloses.

Additionally, 59 percent of investors say their confidence has changed in the last two to three years. Among these investors, 52 percent said that they are less confident today and 48 percent say they are more confident.

Many of the poll respondents expressed a desire to take on less risk in the current market environment (32 percent) or claimed they invested less in the stock market over the last six months (29 percent). However, they remain engaged, as 87 percent say that they continue to monitor their portfolios with the same or greater frequency than they did six months ago.

Despite their continued sense of caution, 66 percent of investors admit that their portfolios are better off than they were four years ago, the study reveals.

When asked which macroeconomic concerns most influence their voting decisions in this year’s presidential election, 42 percent of investors cite economic issues. This is followed by fiscal spending/deficit (35 percent) and social or environmental issues (15 percent). 


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