U.S. retail investors have remained enthusiastic about the stock market despite the economic turmoil and spike in market volatility inflicted by the Covid-19 outbreak, according to new research from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the University of Chicago.
The self-regulatory organization’s investor education arm released a new study, which found that “investor optimism about the stock market remained high,” despite the extreme volatility and economic disruption touched off by the pandemic.
The study found that investors and non-investors alike were broadly aware of the heightened stock market volatility, FINRA said.
While investors reported that their willingness to take investment risks declined during the pandemic, their self-reported risk tolerance was largely unchanged. Respondents also said that they made relatively few transactions during the market disruption.
“Sharp movements up or down in the stock market can challenge even the most seasoned investors, but as we analyzed the impact of pandemic-related market volatility, we saw that investor attitudes do not necessarily influence investing behaviors,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
“We also saw signs of resilience and optimism, but these were coupled with troubling deficits in investment knowledge and a disconnect between investors’ perceived and actual risk tolerance,” she added.