Seeking Alpha

A new Gallup poll finds that Americans holding individual stocks, stock mutual funds, or stocks...

A new Gallup poll finds that Americans holding individual stocks, stock mutual funds, or stocks in their 401(k) or IRA falls to 54%, the lowest level since Gallup began regularly monitoring stock ownership in 1999. Real estate is viewed as the best long-term investment by 33% of respondents, vs. 24% for stocks, 24% for savings accounts/CDs, 12% for bonds.
Comments (13)
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    makes you wonder who is buying all those stocks now...but of couse its been very low volumes....hmmmmm
    21 Apr 2011, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    54%?

     

    That is still pretty high if one accounts for the low savings rate of the bottom 80%.
    21 Apr 2011, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • nightfly
    , contributor
    Comments (1017) | Send Message
     
    Retail never moves the market. Just shows the lack of faith in stocks by the general public.

     

    Some would say that's bullish - I say it's a change in sentiment that will take a decade to work off, if not longer.
    21 Apr 2011, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • Goodlife6
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
     
    The bulk of Baby Boomers need dividends and interest income, not "blowout earnings" and "exceeding expectations", and other such hyperboles tossed around by Wall Street to keep the individual in their game.
    21 Apr 2011, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    to bad they didnĀ“t ask them how much gold and silver they have and are buying
    21 Apr 2011, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1672) | Send Message
     
    And the financial sophistication of the average American continues to get worse...

     

    Real estate as the best long term investment?

     

    Puleeze!!!
    21 Apr 2011, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • jw4golf
    , contributor
    Comments (340) | Send Message
     
    last time I checked an investment pays you money, real estate certainly doesn't meet that definition. Dividend payers and world growth stocks do. You may not like MCD, WMT, MO, but they continue to grow and pay their investors without government support.
    21 Apr 2011, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1672) | Send Message
     
    Real estate only pays you money if you rent it to someone else.

     

    And even then, you have to collect the rent yourself.

     

    I like your other investments much better.
    21 Apr 2011, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • johncworth
    , contributor
    Comments (424) | Send Message
     
    Contrarian point of view:
    Actually, for the LONG HAUL I love real estate right now... assuming you can cash flow approximately even on a rental. Why?
    1) Prices will ultimately go back up. Hopefully, never boom like they did before.
    2) Controlling a fixed interest rate mortgage over the long haul is a superb hedge against inflation.
    3) I dont know about you, but if someone offered to loan me 500 grand @ 4.75 % interest and I could write off the taxes I will do it.
    4) It offers an amazing amount of leverage in a non recourse situation...
    Like any investment, things can go south on you of course. The median value for the Home Price Index since 2000 is 123. If you had put down 30k to buy a 150k house in 2000 your house, on average, would be worth 181k now, (you would have doubled your money due to leverage). And you would have had a place to live or rent out, and tax deductions... And that is a scenario that would have taken place in an absolutely catastrophic 10 year window. Almost any other time window you can name would have been FABULOUSLY superior. I realize the analysis is geographically dependent, and that there are lots of other management issues involved... Actually, in many cases you would have done quite a bit better than that... The key would be to get out when the speculative bubble occurred, which was easy to see even at the time. I mean everyone knew it right? Nobody wanted the party to end.
    21 Apr 2011, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3529) | Send Message
     
    Well stated. In addition, you can increase the value of your 'investment' with sweat equity. Keeping your home updated maintains value even in a falling market.
    21 Apr 2011, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Angel Martin
    , contributor
    Comments (1291) | Send Message
     
    Interesting survey results, for the long term (10+ years) I would say exactly the opposite ordering, my view:

     

    bonds are best, followed by cds, with stocks and real estate as big losers
    21 Apr 2011, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3529) | Send Message
     
    Back to the original story. Did they consider ETF's in the mix? Some are hedging against dollar depreciation with commodity ETF's, members of the EW* ETF group or even bullion. The article wasn't clear on this point.
    21 Apr 2011, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1672) | Send Message
     
    Considering the poll results, I don't think the participants would know what an ETF was if they tripped over it on the way to Starbucks.
    22 Apr 2011, 10:00 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector

Next headline on your portfolio:

|