NEW YORK, April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly three in four Americans (73%) say they are not more inclined to invest in the stock market now, according to new research from Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE). Despite low interest rates on cash and fixed income, record highs in the stock market and market returns exceeding 30% in 2013, individual investors are still not warming to the stock market.
This is true across all age groups and income levels. The findings are consistent with Bankrate.com's survey results from April 2012 and April 2013. In both of those polls, 76% of Americans said they were not more inclined to invest in stocks.
"Americans may be avoiding the buy-high, sell-low habit seen in previous market cycles, but only because they're not buying at all," said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst. "An overly conservative investment stance compounds the problem that so many Americans have of not saving enough for longer-range goals like retirement."
Bankrate.com also announced that its Financial Security Index slipped from 102.2 in March to 100.5 in April. But as in four of the past five months, the Index still indicates improvement over one year ago. Any value above 100 indicates improved financial security compared to one year ago. Three of the five categories (job security, net worth and overall financial situation) all show consistent improvement relative to one year ago. Savings has reflected deterioration every month since polling began in December 2010.
Americans' comfort level with their debt swung from improvement to deterioration compared to one year ago for just the second time in seven months. While this feeling is evident among all age groups, the results among income groups are mixed. Households with annual income above $75,000 and between $30,000 and $49,999 feel more comfortable with this year's debt burden than last year's. Households with annual income between $50,000 and $74,999 and those under $30,000 feel less comfortable with their debt now. Compared to last month's poll, households with income between $50,000 and $74,999 experienced a significant decline in their comfort level with debt.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:
PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,010 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (510) and cell phone (500, including 280 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from April 3-6, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including CreditCards.com, Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsuranceQuotes.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, InsureMe, Bankrate.com.cn, CreditCards.ca, NetQuote.com, and CD.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of nearly 600 local markets in all 50 U.S. states, Bankrate generates over 172,000 distinct rate tables capturing on average over three million pieces of information daily. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 80 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe.
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SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.