During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans Retail Investors turned to the stock market, leading to a surge in shares of forgotten companies and the rise of amateur traders.
Retail investors, who are collectively the largest holders of US equities, are becoming cautious about investing in the stock market in 2023. Despite a surge in shares of once-forgotten companies during the pandemic, some investors are retreating or becoming more conservative with their investments due to concerns about inflation and a possible recession.
Households are expected to withdraw $100 billion from the market this year, marking the first net outflows since 2018. This shift in behavior will impact the direction of the market.
Professional investors are also taking notice of this shift, with some suspecting that retail investors are behind recent stock rallies in certain companies. However, their enthusiasm for trading has waned after losses in 2022, and the number of monthly active users on popular trading apps and average daily retail trades have fallen to the lowest levels since 2020.
Many retail investors have learned the key to making a profit is buying at a low price and are becoming more wary of how much money they are willing to risk. Some have backed away from the market, while others have become more conservative in their investments, shifting their strategies to bonds or cash.
Retail investors are showing caution in 2023 when it comes to investing in stocks. They are opting for safer investments such as Treasuries. This shift in behavior is driven by several factors.
One reason is the recent decline in the stock market. The average individual investor’s portfolio fell 27% since peaking in December 2021, while the S&P 500 declined by 13% over the same period. This drop has resulted in many investors becoming more conservative with their investments.
Another factor is the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy. After aggressively raising interest rates to control inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has shown a commitment to maintaining high interest rates. This has led retail investors to believe that Treasuries are a safer investment, as yields on 10-year government bonds hover around 3.5%, up from less than 1% in 2020.
Furthermore, households are expected to pull roughly $100 billion from the stock market in 2023, marking the first net outflows since 2018. This shows that many retail investors are becoming more cautious about their investments and prefer to hold on to their money in safer assets such as bonds or cash.
Lastly, the market is facing uncertainty with concerns about inflation and a possible future recession. This has made many retail investors cautious about investing in stocks, as they fear economic turmoil. The move to safer investments like Treasuries serves as a means of protection against market instability.