Americans Prefer Real Estate as a Long-Term Investment

Cash Investments Most Popular Amongst Millennials

Jul 22, 2015, 08:00 ET from Bankrate, Inc.

NEW YORK, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Real estate is Americans' preferred investment for money not needed for at least a decade, according to a new (NYSE: RATE) study.

27% picked real estate, followed by 23% who said cash and 17% who selected the stock market. The preference for real estate is especially pronounced in the western U.S., where this was cited nearly two-to-one over any other investment option.

  • Millennials had the highest preference for cash among all age groups.
  • Households headed by college graduates are the only group to prefer stocks.

"Most Americans are still not embracing the stock market for long-term investment horizons," said Greg McBride, CFA,'s chief financial analyst. "Many still fear short-term volatility more than they desire the higher long-term returns." The S&P 500 has risen 27% over the past two years, but Americans are only three percentage points more likely to favor stocks now than they were in 2013.

Gold and other precious metals ranked fourth on this year's list with 14% of the vote. Bonds were last among the five options, at 5%.

The Financial Security Index slipped to 102.1, the second-lowest level of 2015. Americans' job security decreased and their already dour feelings on savings got more so. These trends were particularly pronounced among women. Consumers are also feeling less comfortable with their 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 1,000 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (500, including 313 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from July 9-12. 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 3.6 percentage points.

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SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.