When traders are cheering at the closing market bell, many Americans just shrug.
The stock market has reached new heights in 2017, but over one in four Americans recently reported they felt no similar rise in their fortunes.
The COUNTRY Financial® Security Index survey asked Americans about the connection between the stock market, the economy, and their financial well-being. Over a quarter (28 percent) of Americans surveyed said the growth of the stock market was not reflected in the state of their personal financial security.
As the overall state of investments had those on Wall Street smiling, the survey also found many Americans were not investing in themselves by keeping enough funds on hand in case of a personal financial emergency.
Nearly half of Americans surveyed (49 percent) told us their savings would not stretch beyond three months. Of that group, 19 percent say they would be unable to cover the bills for even one month if they were to lose a job.
“It’s great to see a strong and healthy market. But of course, an individual’s relationship to the market is only part of the picture,” said Doyle Williams, an executive vice president at COUNTRY Financial. “The stock market is out of an individual’s control. But taking some simple steps, like setting up an emergency fund or identifying retirement goals to secure one’s financial future, is something we all can do.”
Keeping it close to home
Even among the 46 percent of Americans who responded with a positive correlation between the stock market and their financial security, most saw their fortunes as tied more closely to their own personal choices.
The majority of respondents believe they, personally, have the greatest impact on their financial security (63 percent), compared to their company (9 percent), the president of the U.S. (7 percent), or the chairman of the Federal Reserve (2 percent).
“As Americans look at their personal situation in relation to what is happening on Wall Street, we are also finding a sense of self-reliance,” said Doyle Williams, an executive vice president at COUNTRY Financial. “A key finding of the Index survey was that the majority of Americans feel that they, personally, have the biggest impact on their financial security. People might not always be aware of the tools available to secure the present and plan for the future, but understanding that the matter is in their hands is key.”
About The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans' sentiments of their personal financial security. The Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancial.com/newsroom and on Twitter at @helloCOUNTRY.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index was created by COUNTRY Financial. This survey was conducted by EMC Research, Inc., an independent research firm, commissioned by COUNTRY Financial. Surveys were conducted using a national online research panel designed to be representative of the general population and includes responses from 1,000 U.S. adults over the age of 18 for national surveys with additional interviews completed in Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Oregon to bring the total in each of those states to 500 completed surveys.