Poll: Few Americans panicked over market's gyrations

McClatchy NewspapersOctober 14, 2008 

WASHINGTON — Despite all the recent wild swings in the stock market, Americans are not panicking about their investments, according to a new Ipsos/McClatchy poll.

The poll found few investors selling or planning to sell, few saying they would stop making planned contributions to retirement plans or other programs that buy stocks, and increased confidence in bank deposits thanks to more generous government insurance coverage.

The survey was conducted from Thursday through Monday, after one of the worst weeks in stock market history.

Despite those losses, the survey found that:

  • Just 5 percent said they'd sold stocks in the last week;
  • Just 8 percent said they planned to sell stocks or bonds or take money out of a mutual fund or retirement account in the near future;
  • Just 8 percent said they'd stopped making contributions to any plan like a 401(k) retirement account that buys stocks, bonds or mutual funds;
  • Just 9 percent said they planned to stop making contributions to any plan like a 401(k) retirement account that buys stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

Turning to bank accounts and money market funds, 56 percent said they were more confident about their money since the government raised the limit on insured bank accounts from $100,000 to $250,000.

METHODOLOGY

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted October 9-13. For the survey, a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of exactly 1,131 adults age 18 and older across the United States was interviewed by Ipsos. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population in the United States been polled. We interviewed 782 current investors. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population in the United States been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to U.S. Census figures. Interviews were conducted with respondents on land-line telephones and cellular phones. Respondents had the option to be interviewed in English or Spanish.

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McClatchy Newspapers 2008

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