Why Are Retirees Investing in the Stock Market?

Guess Whos Increasing Their Stock Holdings (2)

People like you who engage professionals like us to help them manage their personal finances typically own stocks, stock funds and ETFs.

But barely half of America acts like you. According to Gallup, the number of Americans holding stock has declined from 62 percent before the 2008 credit crisis to about 54 percent today.

The decline has occurred across all generational groups — except one. Can you guess which one? Perhaps the millennials? Gen X? Baby boomers?

If you guessed any of those, you’d be wrong. Those who have increased their stock holdings over the past 10 years, according to a recent Gallup poll, are post-retirees — those in their late 60s, 70s, and even 80s and beyond.

What’s different about them? In a word, experience. They remember the crash of 1987, the recession of 1994 and the tech bubble that burst in 2001. They remember 9/11 and the credit crisis of 2008. Having experienced all those events, they learned not to panic during such times but rather to wait for the downturns to run their course.

Post-retirees have the right perspective.

But others sold their investments during the 2008 credit crisis and have not reinvested. Nothing has convinced them to return — not even the sustained run-up in stocks since 2009.

Sadly, younger people have stopped investing in stocks in greater numbers than their older counterparts, so they are not reaping the benefits either.

Stock ownership has declined 11 percentage points among 18- to 29-year-olds — from 42 percent before the crisis to 31 percent after the crisis.

Men are more likely to stay out of the market or limit their holdings than women are, the Gallup survey found.

A financial advisor can help you avoid making these kinds of mistakes. If you have family or friends who are reluctant to take advantage of prudent market investments in a highly diversified portfolio, have them talk to us. We can help them gain the right perspective.

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