What You Need to Know
- Long-term gains are top of mind for 76% of respondents, and 63% prefer low-risk, low-reward investments over riskier trades.
- Many respondents worry about their ability to save, so inflation is a top concern.
- Fifty-one percent who invest or save aren't investing as much as they want to; 31% cite a lack of investing knowledge.
Two years after the pandemic-related shutdown in the U.S., a new survey from Fidelity Investments finds that 63% of actively investing Americans have changed their investing habits in some way.
Seventy-six percent of respondents who invest personally, through a company’s retirement plan or through a paid financial professional are prioritizing long-term gains over short-term ones when investing, and 63% are prioritizing low-risk, low-reward investments over risky, high-reward trades.
Seven in 10 survey participants said they are more focused on the money they make from an investment than the type of company they are investing in.
Many are also becoming more aware of how they spend money as they worry about their ability to save. Inflation is a top concern.
“In the last two years, we saw an increased emphasis on short-term investing and spending habits, but as this period of turmoil from the pandemic, market volatility, inflation and geopolitical events continues, we’re seeing shifts to longer-term planning and saving,” Roberta King, a vice president and branch leader at a Fidelity Investments Investor Center, said in a statement.
“These shifts are impacting how people are choosing to spend, save and invest their money, on their own and through their employer’s retirement plan.”
YouGov conducted a national online survey in February among 257 U.S. adults.
3 Big Shifts
Following some of the trends stemming from events in the past two years of uncertainty — including the “YOLO economy,” “revenge travel” and “the Great Resignation” — the survey identified key shifts American consumers have made since the start of the pandemic toward saving and investing for the long term.
For one, their spending habits are evolving. Here’s what they now prefer:
- 65% put money toward an emergency fund; 35% spend money on a vacation.
- 79% save money for retirement; 21% save money for a wedding or big event.
- 62% contribute $100 toward 401(k); 38% spend $100 on a feel-good purchase
The share who choose to put money into their 401(k) over making a feel-good purchase rises to 72% for those with a retirement plan. In addition, 81% of women are prioritizing saving for retirement rather than saving for a wedding or other big event.