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Investors Bracing for Volatility, Inflation in 2022

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What You Need to Know

  • Seventy-seven percent of participants said they expect a highly volatile market in 2022.
  • Seventy-four percent said they are concerned about their buying power over the next six months.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Gen Xers expressed interest in guaranteed income products, vs. 33% of millennials and 30% of baby boomers.

Americans started the new year continuing to be worried about market volatility, Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America reported Monday.

Seventy-seven percent of participants in Allianz Life’s fourth-quarter market perceptions study said they expected the market to be highly volatile in 2022, and 59% said they expect a market correction this year.

Amid surging case numbers from the omicron variant, 67% worried that new COVID variants will lead to another recession. 

Inflation, at 40-year highs, is on Americans’ minds as well. Seventy-four percent of study participants said they are concerned about their purchasing power over the next six months. 

And 64% reported that their income is not keeping up with expenses. The same percentage worried that their income will not keep pace with tax increases. 

Allianz Life conducted an online survey in December among a nationally representative sample of 1,004 adults. 

Risks Affect Retirement Plans 

While many Americans struggle to navigate these challenges in the short term, 57% of study respondents said risks from market volatility would significantly influence their plans to retire in the next few years. 

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And with added pressure from increased uncertainty, 61% said they are concerned that their current financial strategy will not provide the lifestyle they look forward to in retirement. 

“With all these different factors looming, it’s a critical time for people who are approaching retirement age to think about how to mitigate these risks and adjust their retirement strategies,” Kelly LaVigne, vice president of consumer insights at Allianz Life, said in a statement. 

One-third of respondents said the most important thing they can do now to ensure a secure retirement is put some money into a financial product that provides a guaranteed stream of income in retirement — the largest number saying this since the start of 2019, according to Allianz Life. 

Thirty-nine percent of Generation Xers in the study expressed interest in a product that offers guaranteed income, compared with 33% of millennials and 30% of baby boomers.

At the same time, 66% of respondents said it is important to have some retirement savings in a financial product that protects it from market loss. 

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