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In Volatile 2021, Most Investors Satisfied With Investment Decisions: Study

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What You Need to Know

  • Forty-three percent of respondents said they have learned that it is better to stay the course when investing.
  • Two in 5 respondents said they plan to check in with a financial advisor and use online tools to review their portfolios.
  • In 2022, 37% plan to learn more about investing, 36% will use online tools more and 34% will consult an advisor.

Threats to investors’ portfolio abounded in 2021, including inflation, rich valuations and coronavirus mutations.

Yet 81% of experienced investors in E-Trade Financial’s latest quarterly tracking study said they are satisfied with how they managed their investments in 2021, up 10 percentage points year over year. 

Only 3% purported to be somewhat dissatisfied, and 16% were neutral.

Dynata fielded the online study in mid-October among a sample of 901 self-directed, active investors in the U.S. who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account.

With more people engaging with the market than ever, 43% of investors said they have learned that it is better to stay the course when investing. This lesson easily beat out “strategically moving in and out of the market,” cited by 20% of respondents, and “keep more cash on hand/save for an emergency fund,” cited by 14%.

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At year-end, 2 in 5 investors in the study said they plan to check in with a financial advisor and use online tools to review their portfolios. 

Thirty-one percent said they will sell any stocks that have lost value in order to offset taxes on both gains and income, and 28% will make a charitable donation of stocks, bonds or cash.

As for financial New Year’s resolutions, 37% said they plan to learn more about investing, trading and the markets; 36% said they will use online tools more often; and 34% resolved to seek the help of investment professionals. 

“As we continue to navigate through the pandemic for yet another year, it’s encouraging that investors recognize that staying the course is a solid strategy,” Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial, said in a statement. 

“And though we’ve experienced a robust bull market, this final quarter of 2021 has shown we’re not immune to volatility. We may continue to see ebbs and flows in the market, and investors are employing all of the tools in their toolkit to stay on track.