The stock market is continuing its decade-long bull run, with all three of the major indices ending Friday’s trading session at record closes. So why are some potential investors staying on the sidelines? A recent JPMorgan Chase survey of about 1,200 investors and non-investors says it boils down to liquidity.
The survey found that 42% of those who weren’t investing yet were staying out of the stock market because they believed they didn’t have enough money to invest.
Kelli Keough, digital wealth management head at JPMorgan Chase, tells Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade” non-investors, those who are not in the stock market, say it's a struggle to save enough money to invest.
“76% said that their everyday living expenses are too high,” according to Keough. “Secondly, 49% are still paying off a student loan. So that is an inhibitor for people to really start to invest.”
“Then 63% said that you need at least $1,000 or more to start to invest, which actually isn't true,” Keough said. “And that's really important for us to help people understand that investing is available for people who might have $50, $100. There are no minimums.”
The differences between baby boomers and millennials
The new report says 21% of Americans don’t have a brokerage account or any other way to invest other than their company 401K or pension plan. But for those who are investing there is a definite difference in the habits of baby boomers and millennials.
“We know that millennials who do invest are taking control. 71% are doing it on their own,” said Keough.
Keough commented that many millennials use non-traditional sources for advice to invest, like mainstream media, podcasts, and friends’ advice.
“On the other hand, 68% of boomers are working with an adviser. So almost an entire flip flop. And we see millennials are twice as likely to say that they're working with a digital adviser.”
Volatility is a driver of fear
According to the report, those who are fearful about investing are most worried about volatility, like a market crash or economic uncertainty.
The JPMorgan Chase survey found that millennials are likely to be more aggressive in their portfolio, but boomers are a lot more confident. And Keough says the most important word to learn in investing is diversification.
“What's really important is, regardless of your age, is to really think about diversification. So make sure that it's not a single stock that you're investing in, but instead, a range that covers asset classes that are appropriate to the risk tolerance for you.”
The ultimate goal of both boomers and millennials is investing in their future. While investors and non-investors alike admit getting into the market is their most intimidating activity — even more than doing their taxes, applying for a mortgage, or paying off credit card debt — those who aren’t invested are less confident they will reach their retirement goals.
Tracey Marx Bernstein is a senior producer for Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.