Survey: Confidence in US Markets and Public Company Auditors Stays Strong

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Washington, DC – The percentage of US retail investors expressing confidence that public company auditors are effective in their investor protection roles has climbed to 83%, according to the 2019 Main Street Investor Survey. The annual Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) poll captures the views of US retail investors with at least $10,000 invested in the capital markets through retirement plans or direct holdings.

“Healthy investor confidence is critical at all levels, from the biggest asset managers to people saving in their 401(k),” said CAQ Executive Director Julie Bell Lindsay. “Our survey shows that retail investors in the US have healthy and consistent levels of confidence in both our capital markets system and in the public company auditing profession.”

Fielded by Morning Consult from August 19 to August 22, 2019, the survey’s key findings include the following:

  • 74% of US investors express confidence in US capital markets, unchanged from 2018 levels.
  • 76% of US investors have confidence in US companies that are publicly traded, down two points from 2018.
  • 78% of US investors express confidence in audited financial statements, up three points from 2018.
  • 47% of US investors have confidence in capital markets outside the US, down significantly from a level of 56% in 2018.

“We hope these survey results inspire and motivate public company auditors and others throughout the US capital market system to fortify the foundation of trust and confidence that is so important for our capital markets,” added Lindsay.

Conducted online, the Main Street Investor Survey has 1,000 respondents and a margin of error of +/- 3%.

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About the CAQ
The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) is an autonomous public policy organization dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets. The CAQ fosters high-quality performance by public company auditors; convenes and collaborates with other stakeholders to advance the discussion of critical issues that require action and intervention; and advocates policies and standards that promote public company auditors’ objectivity, effectiveness, and responsiveness to dynamic market conditions. Based in Washington, DC, the CAQ is affiliated with the American Institute of CPAs. For more information, visit

Andrew T. Gillies, Director of Communications
Center for Audit Quality