Fixed-income allocations among individual investors fell last month to their lowest level in over a year. The September AAII Asset Allocation Survey also shows a decline in equity allocations and a rebound in cash allocations.
Stock and stock fund allocations declined 1.2 percentage points, to 65.4%. Equity allocations have now been above their historical average of 60.5% for 42 consecutive months.
Bond and bond fund allocations declined 1.1 percentage points, to 16.3%. Fixed-income allocations were last at this level on August 2015. Even with the decrease, fixed-income allocations remained above their historical average of 16.0% for the 14th consecutive month.
Cash allocations rose 2.3 percentage points, to 18.3%. Cash allocations had previously fallen for three consecutive months after having reached 19.3% in July. Even with the rise, cash allocations remained below their historical average of 23.5% for the 58th consecutive month.
There isn’t a clear reason to explain the drop in fixed-income allocations to a 13-month low. Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose during the first half of September, and our members have previously expressed concern about a drop in bond prices. Differences in who responded to last month’s survey from previous months may have also played a role. We send out weekly reminder emails to take our surveys to a rotating group of AAII members.
In general, individual investors are frustrated by the low yields on bonds, the low interest rates paid by savings and money market accounts, and the high valuations of stocks. Several AAII members have expressed that they see no good alternatives to stocks currently existing or have otherwise said that they feel like they are being forced to allocate to more stocks because of the current interest rate environment. At the same time, optimism about the short-term direction of stock prices continues to be low, according to our weekly Sentiment Survey.
September AAII Asset Allocation Survey results:
- Stocks and stock funds: 65.4%, down 1.2 percentage points
- Bonds and bond funds: 16.3%, down 1.1 percentage points
- Cash: 18.3%, up 2.3 percentage points
September AAII Asset Allocation Survey details:
- Stock Funds: 34.4%, up 0.4 percentage points
- Stocks: 31.0%, down 1.7 percentage points
- Bond Funds: 13.3%, down 0.4 percentage points
- Bonds: 3.0%, down 0.7 percentage points
- Stocks/Stock Funds: 60.5%
- Bonds/Bond Funds: 16.0%
- Cash: 23.5%
*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.
Want to weigh in? Take the survey yourself and see results online at: http://www.aaii.com/assetallocationsurvey.
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