It seems that the U.S. stock market has moved passed December’s abysmal performance, at least for now. Nearly half-way through January, the iShares Dow Jones U.S. ETF (IYY) is up nearly 11% from its Christmas Eve low. In fact, through the close on January 9, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index had logged their best 10-day performance since July 2009. Investors seem to be encouraged by the robust December jobs report and signs of patience from the Fed. However, much uncertainty remains regarding the state of the global economy, including the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
AAII Weekly Survey Question
While we are only nine trading days into the New Year, there does seem to have been a shift in investor sentiment. To see, though, last week’s reader survey question asked:
If you had $10,000 to spend, do you think investing in the stock market would be a good idea?
Here are the results:
In what was the biggest wave of responses in several weeks, 2,362 readers participated. Given the long-term leaning of many of our readers, it’s not surprising that nearly two-thirds (64%) said they think it would be a good idea to invest in the stock market.
Roughly one-third of respondents (31%) conditionally said that investing in the stock market is a good idea.
Only 4% said that investing in the stock market would be a bad idea.
Weekly Special Question
The last year has been a roller coaster ride for investors. The strong gains of 2017 gave way to a spike in volatility and a down year for 2018.
Seeing how much has gone on with the U.S. stock market over the last 12 months, we posed this special question to our readers last week:
How has your opinion of investing changed over the last year?
Among the 347 responses we received, 50% of our readers say their opinion about investing has not changed over the last year.
Another 17% said they have become more conservative in their investments over the last year.
Rounding out the top five responses were:
- Increased my diversification (4.2%)
- See the stock market as being much more volatile (3.9%)
- Paying closer attention to company fundamentals (3.6%)
Here is a sampling of the responses from our readers as to how their opinion of investing has changed over the last year:
- “Having an opinion is never a good idea.”
- “The decade-long period of easy investing is over. Reality has returned and with it the need to pay attention—but not hide under the covers. Guidance (AAII and more) is more important than it has been in a long time.”
- “I was very surprised by the large drop in stock prices over the last 2 months, coming when the economy seems to be so good.”
- “The past year emphasizes the need to diversify your investments.”
- “No change. I’m in for the long haul.”
- “I have stopped investing in single stocks and now only invest in index-type exchange-traded funds (ETFs).”
- “Reading ‘Investing at Level3’ provided me the clearest vision in 40 years of how to maintain my retirement portfolio. I could not have read a better book, especially at the inevitable onset of a bear market.”
- “I now believe that buying and holding investments that have relatively good performance over a long term is actually a better strategy than trading in and out based on momentum or using sector rotation.”
Everybody has an opinion! Why not give us yours? Participate in our weekly member poll, updated every Monday, and see the results online at www.aaii.com/memberquestion.