Survey: How the Financial Crisis Changed Investor Behavior

The AAII Journal recently reported on a survey it conducted to evaluate what lasting impact the 2007-2009 financial crisis has had on its members’ investing decisions.

Here are highlights of the results from 227 member respondents:

  • 46% indicated that they changed their investment strategy or portfolio allocation;
  • 22% described themselves as having become more cautious, patient or adoptive of a more conservative approach;
  • More than 8% said they pay more attention to the market;
  • Nearly 12% said the bear market has had no lasting impact on how they’ve invested since the crisis ended;
  • Two out of five respondents said they have become more conservative because of their age rather than because of the crisis (median age of respondents was 70 years old);
  • 13% of respondents claimed to be less tolerant and 18% claimed to have become more tolerant of downside risk because of the financial crisis;
  • About 53% of respondents said they didn’t pull out any or all of their money during the bear market period of November 2007 through March 2009;
  • Of those that did pull out, the survey found that 60% said that they got back to being fully invested in stocks in later than 2009, while 12% said they have never fully returned;
  • 47% said they wouldn’t have changed the investment decisions they made during the final months of the bear market, while 44% they would change some decisions;
  • The biggest regret (21% of respondents) was not investing more as the 2007-2009 bear market neared its bottom.