Investors Come Back to Market

Signs of a brightening economy include investors planning to buy cars or homes, and making travel plans, a survey says.

Recession scars are fading, and the financial impact of the recession is receding as investors get back on track with financial goals. A majority of investors (67%) say 2013 was a good or excellent year for them financially, according to the annual Financial Review & Outlook Survey by TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation.

Investors’ confidence in the markets has also improved. Consider the amount of money invested in the market since the recession. Nearly 80% of investors surveyed in 2013 said they are putting the same amount of or more new money into the markets, versus 67% of investors who said so in a 2010 survey. The number of investors who reported investing less in the markets since the recession has dropped, from 32% to 21%, over the same period.

Investors appear to be recouping losses realized in the recession. In 2013, more investors saving for retirement said they are ahead of schedule or on track with their retirement savings goals than those who said so in 2010 (67% vs. 53%, respectively).

“While many Americans took a more cautious financial stance over the past few years, we continue to see signs that the recession’s scars are fading,” says J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist of TD Ameritrade, a broker/dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holdings Corp. “It appears investors are feeling the euphoria of a more positive year and are beginning to engage in the market more. It’s encouraging to see the optimism both in the results of this survey and among our clients.”

Planning Is Back

This renewed sense of investor optimism extends beyond financial planning as well. Investors in 2013 were less likely to have put off making major financial or life decisions, with half saying they had done so, compared with 56% of investors surveyed in 2010.

The top three items that investors put off because of the recession were:

  • Travel (26% in 2013 vs. 35% in 2010);
  • Purchasing a car (18% in 2013 vs. 25% in 2010); and
  • Purchasing a home (4% in 2013 vs. 13% in 2010).

While the recession caused many setbacks, there were a few silver linings. For one, 41% of couples in 2013 said they are talking to their spouse/significant other more frequently about money and finances today than they did prior to the recession. This proportion rises to more than half (55%) among those investors who say they had a tough or very tough year, financially speaking, in 2013.

A majority of investors surveyed in 2013 say they expect that 2014 will be the same or even better for both the economy (77%) and for their own personal finances (84%).

More information on TD Ameritrade’s Financial Review & Outlook Survey, including key findings, is available at