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Schwab Q2 Retail Client Sentiment Survey: More Than Half of Investors Are Now Bearish but Majority Plan To Stay Invested and Remain Confident About Long-Term Goals

Investors feel more bearish about the stock market according to Charles Schwab’s Q2 2022 Retail Client Sentiment Report of over 1,000 retail clients. More than half (57%) of respondents have a bearish outlook on the U.S. stock market for the second quarter of 2022, an increase of 29% from the same time last year. Just over a quarter (26%) are bullish about the second quarter, down 28% from the same time last year. However, more than half (55%) of Schwab’s retail clients report that they don’t plan to change the level of risk they are taking in their investment portfolios in Q2, and only 9% of respondents say they will take money out of their investment portfolios in the coming months.

“Investors’ concerns about the market are understandably on the rise this quarter amid inflation, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and volatility, but we’re encouraged to see that they’re staying the course with a focus on diversification and following their long-term financial plans,” said Jonathan Craig, Managing Director, Head of Investor Services & Marketing at Charles Schwab. “Investors are also staying engaged as market volatility persists. In fact, we saw almost 2 million client visits to the educational content on our website in the first four months of the year, which speaks to the importance of providing investors with the resources they need to navigate periods like the one we’re in now.”

Key Q2 2022 Retail Client Sentiment Report Themes

  • Young investors, defined as investors under the age of 40, remain the most confident in the market by a small margin, with 31% feeling bullish in Q2; however, young investors’ bullish sentiment has dropped more than 10% since Q1 2022.
  • In Q2, Schwab clients are most bullish about the energy sector (53%), followed by healthcare (46%) and utilities (42%). They are most bearish about real estate (46%) and consumer discretionary (44%).
  • Despite increased bearish sentiment, 42% of Schwab’s retail clients plan to add money to their investment portfolios in Q2. Individual stocks (34%), ETFs (27%), and mutual funds (17%) continue to be the most popular investment vehicles.
  • Concerns about inflation (18%), geopolitical or global macroeconomic issues (16%), and the potential of a recession (13%) are top of mind for investors in Q2 2022. Despite these concerns and the increase in bearish sentiment, the majority of Schwab’s retail clients (91%) are confident that they will reach their financial goals.
  • More than half of investors (63%) have noticed a negative impact on their portfolio as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. Further, approximately 80% of investors report that the conflict in Ukraine has had an impact on their sentiment, but the majority (63%) do not plan to alter their portfolio allocation as a direct result​.

About the survey

This data is collected by Schwab quarterly via an online survey of clients with retail assets of at least $2,000. There is oversampling to achieve adequate sample sizes for sub-group analysis, and then application of a weighting scheme to create a total respondent population that is representative of Schwab’s client base. The Q2 study was fielded at the beginning of the quarter: April 6 -17, 2022. Detailed results can be found here.

About Charles Schwab

At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.

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