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2015 Main Street Investor Survey: Confidence in U.S. Capital Markets Stays Strong

Thursday, September 17, 2015

U.S. retail investors continue to have robust confidence in U.S. capital markets, even as they are increasingly leery of capital markets abroad, according to the Center for Audit Quality’s 2015 Main Street Investor Survey.

The survey finds that 73 percent of “Main Street” investors have confidence in U.S capital markets, holding steady from 2014 levels and up 12 percentage points from a low following the financial crisis. By contrast, confidence in non-U.S. capital markets decreased from 43 percent in 2014 to 38 percent in 2015, edging closer to the lowest level recorded on that measure since the CAQ launched the survey in 2007.

“Our 2015 survey results paint a fascinating picture of the American retail investor,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli in this video. “Despite sometimes nerve-wracking fluctuations in the marketplace, our survey shows that U.S. investor confidence is resilient, a positive sign given the importance of financial markets as engines of economic growth.”

When asked how much confidence they have in a number of different entities when it comes to effectiveness in looking out for investors’ interests, investors express the most trust in independent auditors (76 percent), financial advisors and brokers (73 percent), and independent audit committees (71 percent).

With an overarching theme of the “Investor of the Future,” this year’s Main Street Investor Survey highlights attitudes among millennial investors—those between the ages of 18 and 34. The report finds that confidence levels and financial views of these younger investors largely mirror those of previous generations. Still, notable divergences also exist. Millennials, for example, are more likely than others to view cyber-attacks as the biggest risk to their investment portfolio.

Visit the CAQ website to find the full report, as well as supplemental data for all investors and millennials.