Those Market Swings


Investors think the gyrating stock market will affect both the economy and their spending -- but they haven't given up on stocks. That's the conclusion from our July 25 Reader Survey, in which about 650 readers participated.

An overwhelming 82% said they think the recent swings in the market will affect the economy. And 62% said the uncertain market will prompt them to spend less of their income than before (though 34% remain undaunted).

Yet, 30% said they see the down market as an opportunity to buy more stocks, and 42% said they'll hold onto stocks they own, rather than sell. When asked what they would do with a sudden windfall, moreover, about 30% said they would put it into stocks, the same percentage that would opt for depositing it in a savings account. Some 21% would choose bonds, and 20% real estate.

Like just about everyone else, those who responded aren't quite sure where the market's bottom will be. Some 44% said they think the markets haven't bottomed yet, while 26% said they have, and 30% said it isn't clear yet.

Some 80% of those who participated said they own stocks outside of a pension plan.

Here are the complete results of the survey, which are unscientific since anyone who wished to could particpate:

Do you own and/or trade stocks outside of a 401(k) or other pension plan?

Option

Total

%

Yes

508

78.88 %

No

97

15.06 %

Not anymore

39

6.06 %

Do you think the recent swings in the market will have any effect on the economy?

Option

Total

%

Yes

533

82.38 %

No

76

11.75 %

Don't know

38

5.87 %

Have the swings in the market prompted you to spend less of your income than before?

Option

Total

%

Yes

401

62.27 %

No

221

34.32 %

Not sure

22

3.42 %

If you own stocks, are you more inclined as a result of the market's swings to:

Option

Total

%

Buy more stocks

185

29.04 %

Sell your current holdings

118

18.52 %

Neither buy nor sell, but simply hold stocks

271

42.54 %

I don't own stocks

63

9.89 %

Do you think that the markets have now hit bottom?

Option

Total

%

Yes

166

25.9 %

No

286

44.62 %

Don't know

189

29.49 %

If you experienced an income windfall today, where would you put the money?

Option

Total

%

Stocks

191

29.84 %

Bonds

131

20.47 %

Savings account

191

29.84 %

Real estate

127

19.84 %


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