Individual investors boosted their fixed-income and cash allocations last month, according to the September AAII Asset Allocation survey. Bond and bond fund allocations are at an eight-month high, while stock and stock fund allocations are at a four-month low.
Stock and stock fund allocations declined 0.6 percentage points to 66.7%. This is the smallest equity weighting since May 2014 (65.3%). Even with the decline, stock and stock fund allocations remained above their historical average of 60% for the 18th consecutive month and the 20th out of the past 21 months.
Bond and bond fund allocations increased 0.2 percentage points to 16.8%. This is the largest allocation to fixed income since January 2014 (17.0%). The historical average is 16%.
Cash allocations rose 0.5 percentage points to 16.5%. Even with the increase, September was the 34th consecutive month with cash allocations below their historical average of 24%.
After falling in the first half of the year, fixed-income allocations rebounded in the third quarter. Bond and bond fund allocations have stayed at or above 16% since yields on the 10-year Treasury started staying largely below 2.6% in early summer. Cash allocations have shown more variance over the past several months, with some of the fluctuations potentially being due to differences in which AAII members took the survey on a given month. Stock allocations have remained above 65% throughout 2014, aided in part by the market’s upward momentum.
The shift in allocations this month is subtle and does not appear to signal a shift in preferences. Many AAII members continue to be frustrated by low bond yields and low interest rates on money market accounts. Plus, optimism about the short-term direction of stock prices remained above average throughout September.
September Asset Allocation Survey results:
- Stocks and Stock Funds: 66.7%, down 0.6 percentage points
- Bonds and Bond Funds: 16.8%, up 0.2 percentage points
- Cash 16.5%, up 0.5 percentage points
September Asset Allocation Survey details:
- Stocks: 33.9%, up 2.8 percentage points
- Stock Funds: 32.8%, down 3.3 percentage points
- Bonds: 4.2%, up 1.1 percentage points
- Bond Funds: 12.6%, down 1.0 percentage points
- 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/assetallocationsurvey.