Putting Faith But Not Money in Stocks

Many Americans say stocks are a good investment, but aren’t actually buying more of them

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It’s easy to pay lip service to stocks being a good long-term investment, but few investors plan to actually buy them during a month when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged below 7,000. About half of Americans (53 percent) and 67 percent of stock owners agree that stocks remain a sound long-term investment, according to a Gallup Poll conducted March 4.

But that doesn’t mean Americans intend to scoop up more stocks while many are bargain priced. Only 21 percent of stock owners plan to continue to acquire more equities in the next month, Gallup found. Another 73 percent plan to hold their stocks, but not buy any more. Only 4 percent of investors plan to take all their money out of the market.

“I would fight the temptation to hate stocks now because they are losing money,” says Rande Spiegelman, senior vice president of the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “You wouldn’t go into Sacks or Nordstrom or JC Penny and say, ‘If you mark down the big screen TV 50 percent I don’t want it.’. That’s crazy.” But Spiegelman admits he understands investor’s market wariness: “If it was easy to sell high and buy low, everyone would do it.”