Millennials boosted their stock investments more than other generations amid the extreme market volatility seen last month, according to an online survey conducted for Bankrate by YouGov March 20-24.
However, the survey also found that millennials were also the most likely to sell stocks, Bankrate said Tuesday, noting that 1,175 adults 18 and over who said they had retirement or other investing accounts responded to the survey.
The older the investors, the less likely they were to add money to their stock portfolios amid the turmoil, according to the findings.
Twenty-four percent of the millennials who responded said they bought more stocks, compared with only 13% of investors in Generation X and 5% of baby boomers, Bankrate said.
Meanwhile, 15% of the millennials said they sold stocks, slightly ahead of Generation X at 12% and baby boomers at 8%.
Most of the investors polled, however, did not touch their investments.
A whopping 66% of all respondents “intentionally did nothing with their stock or stock-related investments,” Bankrate said. Only 13% overall added more to their investments, while 11% moved money out of their stock-related investments, and 10% indicated they weren’t aware of the market’s move last month.
The results suggested that the average stock-holding American was doing what financial advisors “have long preached — to hold your stocks during a decline in the market and add more, if you can,” according to Bankrate.
“Americans are cutting their spending, but they’re not bailing on stocks despite an unprecedented drop of more than 30%,” according to Greg McBride, Bankrate chief financial analyst, pointing to the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s decline.
Broken out by income, the survey findings also showed a divergence in response to the market decline, with lower earners less likely to hold onto their investments.
Forty-seven percent of those who said they made under $30,000 annually did nothing with their investments, compared with 62% of those who said they made $30,001-$49,999, 71% of those who said they made $50,000-$79,999, and 66% of those who said they made $80,000 or more.
Households with income under $30,000 a year had the highest likelihood of moving money out of stocks, at 20%, Bankrate said.
The data was weighted and “intended to be representative of all U.S. adults,” and therefore was “subject to statistical errors typically associated with sample-based information,” Bankrate said.