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Survey: Overwhelming Majority of American Investors Are Confident in U.S. Markets

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Investors, however, concerned about national debt, focused on upcoming election

Washington, DC – Seventy-nine percent of American investors are confident in U.S. capital markets, and 81 percent have confidence investing in U.S. publicly traded companies, according to a survey released today by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), the 10th Annual Main Street Investor Survey: A Decade of Investor Confidence. The survey also found that 57 percent of investors think the next U.S. president will significantly impact their investment decisions.

“With 10 years of data, the Main Street Investor Survey provides a sweeping view of the strength and resilience of U.S. investors and the robust confidence they place in our capital markets system,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli.

Investors display healthy levels of confidence in public company auditors (81 percent), independent audit committees (77 percent), audited financial statements (75 percent), and financial advisors (75 percent).

“The CAQ is pleased to observe the robust confidence that investors place in public company auditors and audited financial information,” Fornelli said. “The public company auditing profession is committed to continuous improvement through innovation, finding new and better ways to serve investors and to build trust in capital markets.”

Respondents named growing national debt, global political unrest, cybersecurity threats to personal information and the capital markets, and a possible terrorist attack on the United States as the greatest risks to the U.S. economy. Forty-two percent of investors have confidence in capital markets outside the United States.

Methodology: Telephone and online survey of 1,004 investors was conducted from August 8 to August 19, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with 95 percent certainty. Full methodology is available upon request, and additional statistical and questionnaire information is available here. The complete 2016 survey and surveys for all prior years can be found at

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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 requiring action and intervention, and advocates policies and standards that promote public company auditors’ objectivity, effectiveness, and responsiveness to dynamic market conditions. Based in Washington, D.C., the CAQ is affiliated with the American Institute of CPAs. For more information, visit