NEW YORK — Investing and playing the stock market always comes with a certain degree of risk, but the financial havoc caused by COVID-19 over the past few months has caused many investors to seriously question their financial decisions. According to a new survey of 2,008 Americans, more than half of investors regret some of their past investments in light of the coronavirus.
Younger adults have the most regrets, with an unbelievable 92% of generation Z respondents stating they wish they could turn back the financial hands of time. Meanwhile, 79% of generation X have regrets, followed by 33% of baby boomers and 24% of the silent generation.
Still, according to the research, which was commissioned by MagnifyMoney, not all hope is lost. A full third of investors are optimistic for the future; they believe their portfolios will rebound by the end of this year. Regarding political affiliations, Republicans seem to be the most confident. In all, 48% of surveyed conservatives are “very confident” their investments will rebound, compared to just 26% of surveyed liberals.
How much have investors lost during the COVID-19 outbreak?
When asked to put a dollar amount on their losses thus far, respondents didn’t pull any punches. According to the responses, the average consumer with an investment account has lost $24,400 since the coronavirus outbreak started in March. Older adults reported losing more; the average baby boomer has lost $56,000 and the average silent generation investor has lost $63,300. Interestingly, women respondents seem to have lost more on average ($32,300) in comparison to men ($18,700).
While some believe the market will rebound by the end of this year, just over 33% believe it will be at least a full calendar year before the financial world returns to normal. On the other side of that spectrum, 22% actually think the market will recover over the next two to five months.
But, just how much does the stock market determine the financial fate of Americans? Surprisingly, over half of the survey’s respondents said that the stock market does not completely dictate the financial status of the average U.S. consumer. Although, Republicans are much more likely to believe the market represents the financial stability of average Americans compared to Democrats or people with no investment accounts.
Regrets…They’ve had a few.
So, what exactly are Americans regretting about their investments? The top answer to that question was not diversifying their portfolio enough (23%), followed by taking on risky investments (19%) and putting all their savings in the stock market (13%).
Close to a third of generation X respondents wish they had diversified more, while generation Z investors were most often burned by a risky investment (33%). Regarding emptying out their savings, generation Z was again the biggest offender (27%), according to the survey.