Janus Henderson Investors released the findings of its 2022 Retirement Confidence Report, which seeks to better understand how self-directed investors are coping with this year’s challenging market environment.
According to the report, which is based on a survey conducted by Janus Henderson, rising inflation and stock market volatility are weighing heavily on investors, as 86% of survey respondents are concerned or very concerned about inflation and 79% are concerned or very concerned about the stock market.
Further, 45% of investors said they felt less confident in their ability to have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement, and 9% have hired or planned to hire a financial advisor in 2022. Notably, less than 2% are planning to change financial advisors as a result of the market downturn.
“With both stocks and bonds posting three consecutive quarters of negative returns in 2022, investor confidence has suffered, but it hasn’t collapsed,” said Matt Sommer, Head of Janus Henderson Investors’ Defined Contribution and Wealth Advisor Services Team.
“The Covid-19 stock selloff and quick comeback that occurred in 2020 put a spotlight on the challenges of timing the markets and remains a vivid example of the importance of creating and sticking to a plan in all types of markets,” he added.
Cash Isn’t King as Investors Eye Market Rebound
Despite concerns surrounding inflation and the stock market, just 13% of investors have moved money out of stocks or bonds and into cash. Instead, investors appear to be tightening their budgets, as nearly half (49%) said they have reduced their spending or plan to reduce spending as a result of the financial markets and rising inflation.
Expectations for better days ahead might also explain why more investors have not moved to cash. The majority of respondents (60%) believe the S&P 500 Index will be higher one year from now, 26% believe the Index will be lower, and 14% expect it will be relatively unchanged.
Strong Desire for Dividends
The preferred investments for generating income in retirement in the current environment include dividend-paying stocks (65%), annuities (24%), taxable bonds (23%), and tax-free bonds (23%).
“The good news is that many investors are taking the common-sense approach of reducing their spending and not moving out of stocks in response to this year’s challenging market environment,” added Sommer. “It’s also encouraging to see that some are seeking the advice of a professional advisor to navigate the current market uncertainty.”
The survey was conducted by Janus Henderson Investors in October 2022, and was distributed within its Direct Business Channel (DBC) to a randomly selected group of investors age 50 and older who were the sole or shared financial decision-maker for their households. The DBC caters to self-directed U.S. investors who have established accounts directly with Janus Henderson and without the assistance of a financial professional, some of whom may consult with an advisor for other aspects of their wealth. The final sample consisted of 1,926 investors who completed the full survey.