The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy and sent a shudder through the investing public.
In reaction, 42% of investors in a new survey sold at least one stock and 24% sold all their holdings, MagnifyMoney reported this week.
Men were much likelier than women to sell at least one stock — 56% and 19% did so, respectively — as were younger investors. Sixty-four percent of Gen Xers and 43% of millennials sold stocks, while only 10% of baby boomers did so.
By far, the biggest reason investors sold stocks was that they wanted to have cash on hand in the event of a recession. Others worried about a stock market crash or wanted to reinvest in stocks that would weather the pandemic better.
Sixty-six percent of men said they sold stock in order to have cash on hand in case of recession, while 47% of women did so out of fear of a crash. Boomers’ stock selling appeared to have more to do with retirement considerations than with the pandemic, according to the survey.
The upshot of this selling? Sixty-nine percent of investors who sold stock at the beginning of the pandemic said they greatly regretted their decision to sell, while 19% said they were somewhat regretful.
MagnifyMoney said that regret was warranted, as the stock market rebounded in record time from the rock-bottom lows it had reached at the beginning of the crisis.