April AAII Asset Allocation Survey: Allocations Stay Unchanged Amid High Levels of Neutral Sentiment


Investors kept their portfolio holdings essentially unchanged for the third consecutive month, according to the April AAII Asset Allocation Survey. Equity allocations remained above average, while fixed-income allocations stayed below 16% for just the third time in five years.

Stock and stock fund allocations declined 0.2 percentage points to 67.0%. April was just the third month since September 2007 when equity allocations were at or above 67.0%. Last month was also the 13th consecutive month and the 15th out of the past 16 with equity allocations above their historical average of 60%.

Bond and bond fund allocations declined 0.1 percentage points to 15.6%. This is just the third time since 2009 that fixed-income allocations are below their historical average of 16%.

Cash allocations increased by 0.3 percentage points to 17.4%. April was the 29th consecutive month with cash allocations below their historical average of 24%.

The lack of change in portfolio allocations is occurring at a time when a high percentage of individual investors describe their six-month expectations for stock prices as “neutral.” While many AAII members are neither predicting stocks to rise or fall over the next six months, many are also not viewing bonds or cash as more attractive alternatives.

This month’s special question asked AAII members whether a correction in stock prices (a drop of at least 10%) or a one percentage point rise in bond yields would cause a bigger loss in their portfolio. Nearly 80% of all respondents said a correction in stock prices would cause a bigger loss. The primary reason given as to why was a bigger allocation to stocks than to bonds (34% of all respondents). About 17% of respondents said they didn’t own bonds, while 10% of respondents said their bond holdings were short-term or are had less sensitivity to interest rate fluctuations. Just 3% of respondents said a one percentage point rise in bond yields would hurt their portfolios more than a correction in stock prices would.

April Asset Allocation Survey results:

  • Stocks and stock funds: 67.0%, down 0.2 percentage points
  • Bonds and bond funds: 15.6%, down 0.1 percentage points
  • Cash: 17.4%, up 0.3 percentage points

April Asset Allocation Survey details:

  • Stocks: 32.7%, up 1.7 percentage points
  • Stock Funds: 34.3%, down 1.9 percentage points
  • Bond Funds: 12.6%, up 0.1 percentage points
  • Bonds: 3.0%, down 0.2 percentage points

Historical Averages:

  • Stocks/Stock Funds: 60%
  • Bonds/Bond Funds: 16%
  • Cash: 24%

*The numbers are rounded and may not add up to 100%.

The AAII Asset Allocation Survey has been conducted monthly since November 1987 and asks AAII members what percentage of their portfolios are allocated to stocks, stock funds, bonds, bond funds and cash. The survey and its results are available online at: http://www.aaii.com/investor-surveys.


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