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Most Investors Stay Neutral Despite Market Plunge, Recession Fears

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The stock market crash and genuine fears of a recession have left Americans wondering whether worse is yet to come, Allianz Life found in its latest quarterly market perceptions study, released Thursday.

Sixty-three percent of participants in the study expressed concerns about a recession, up from 43% in the fourth quarter, and 57% thought that the market had not bottomed out.

Notwithstanding their anxiety over market swings, 52% of Americans said now was a good time to stay neutral and not take any action because of market conditions.

Forty-one percent, rattled by recent market volatility, said they were too nervous to invest in the market, compared with 35% in the fourth quarter.

“Americans who have watched their investments and retirement savings plummet over the past few weeks might be wondering if they should take action to stem the bleeding,” Kelly LaVigne, vice president of Advanced Markets at Allianz Life, said in a statement.

“The good news is that, for the majority, calmer heads prevail, and many seem to understand that they need to take a longer-term view and try to ride it out.”

Allianz Life conducted an online survey between March 19 and March 22 among 1,003 Americans 18 and older.

Confronted with so much bad news, Americans in the survey nevertheless appeared optimistic that they would be able to recover retirement savings after a market decline. Seven in 10 respondents believed that they would have time to rebuild their retirement nest eggs, even if the market continued to fall.

“Many investors have been through big drops before, and for the most part understand that what goes down almost always goes back up,” LaVigne said.

“Hopefully, people have already taken steps to mitigate market risks that could impact retirement before the market plummeted, like diversifying or moving money into protection products.”

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