Americans Using Their Rainy Day Savings to Live

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
By Paul Martin

Recently I commented on the outflow of money from mutual funds and the increase in 401K hardship withdraws.

Today the New York Times carries the story further by stating that investors have simply given up on the stock market. While this may indeed be true that investors simply don’t trust it anymore, and who could blame them, I contend that there is still a significant percentage of those pulling money from stocks who need the funds to live.

Investors withdrew a staggering $33.12 billion from domestic stock market mutual funds in the first seven months of this year, according to the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry trade group. Now many are choosing investments they deem safer, like bonds.

If that pace continues, more money will be pulled out of these mutual funds in 2010 than in any year since the 1980s, with the exception of 2008, when the global financial crisis peaked.

Small investors are “losing their appetite for risk,” a Credit Suisse analyst, Doug Cliggott, said in a report to investors on Friday. {…}

“At this stage in the economic cycle, $10 to $20 billion would normally be flowing into domestic equity funds” rather than the billions that are flowing out, said Brian K. Reid, chief economist of the investment institute. He added, “This is very unusual.” {…} (NYTimes)

The Rest…HERE

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