New Scottrade Research: Investors Adapt to Complex Global Economy

More than half of investors report a positive attitude toward the stock market

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 20, 2012 – Global and domestic events of the last 12 months have rocked and catapulted the markets. Investors have watched major market indices surge to multiyear highs.

So far this month, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index hit a five-year high; and this spring investors witnessed the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index hit multiyear highs of 13,000 and 3,000, respectively. Add to those events concerns over the ongoing European debt crisis, China’s slowdown, as well as domestic economic and employment concerns surrounding the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and nearly a quarter of investors think now is the best time to “get in on some great deals,” according to new research from investing company Scottrade, Inc.

The findings, from the 2012 Scottrade American Investor Study, show that while investors’ views on today’s stock market vary, only 6 percent find it too risky. The remaining respondents reported the following attitudes toward the stock market:

• 31 percent: It’s concerning – I’m being more cautious and conservative with my investments.
• 30 percent: It’s no different than what’s happened historically – I try to take a long-term approach to investing.
• 22 percent: It’s the best time to invest and get in on some great deals.
• 11 percent: I can’t afford to invest anymore due to increasing financial pressures in other areas.

“Investors are keeping these major economic, political and market events in perspective. They’re adjusting to a new normal,” said Matt Billings, Scottrade’s director of trading services.

As of Sept. 14, buy activity among Scottrade’s clients outpaced sell activity for 170 of the 178 trading days this year. “This implied confidence among our self-directed clients indicates they are finding opportunities to enter the market,” Billings said. “For example, August marked a continuing trend of investors shifting to technology, consumer and financial sectors. The Nasdaq 100 Index – which tracks 100 of the largest non-financial companies, including tech companies such as Apple and Google – hit a 12-year high this month.”

Keeping an eye out for opportunities has led to investors being more engaged and checking their accounts with increasing frequency, according to the Scottrade study. The majority of investors, at 61 percent, are checking the status or value of their investments at least weekly, up from 59 percent in 2011 and 54 percent in 2010.

The focus of this attention is largely on saving for retirement. When asked why respondents invest, the leading answer, at 63 percent, was for retirement, followed by a desire to build a nest egg (49 percent) and create a rainy day fund (38 percent). And investors are tackling these goals with online tools and resources.

Scottrade’s research has found a growing demand among investors for online research resources. This year, 80 percent of investors ranked “research you can access online” as an important factor to investing, compared to 76 percent in 2011 and 66 percent in 2010. The 2012 study also found that a third of investors report teaching themselves how to invest by using online resources.

“Scottrade’s in-house client education team is committed to providing self-directed investors and traders with the investment education resources they need to be successful in a fast-changing environment,” said Kristin Grupas, Scottrade’s assistant director of client education. “Scottrade recognizes the immediacy of news and the consequence it has on the stock market.

“This is why Scottrade continually brings new content to the online Knowledge Center in the form of articles, live webinars and on-demand webcasts, as well as to in-person education seminars at branch offices and regional Client Education Conferences,” Grupas said. “We believe that through education self-directed investors and traders can reach financial success.”

About the 2012 Scottrade American Investor Survey
The study was commissioned by Scottrade and conducted online with members of Survey Sampling Inc.’s SurveySpot consumer panel. Fielded with a nationally representative sample of 1,289 respondents, including 962 investors with at least $500 in investments, between July 23 and August 6, 2012, the study examined attitudes, behaviors and trends related to investing. All participants were at least 18 years of age that were involved in making investment decisions in their households. Margin of error for the overall poll is +/- 3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence.

About Scottrade, Inc.
Investors who enjoy online stock trading will find value and personalized customer service at online investing services firm Scottrade, Inc. Founded in 1980, Scottrade enables clients to learn about online trading tools, stock market research and how to buy stocks online, many at just $7 per trade. With more than 500 nationwide branch offices, Scottrade has the largest branch network among online brokerage firms. To learn more about one of FORTUNE® magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” visit or and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Scottrade® and the Scottrade® logo are the registered trademarks of Scottrade, Inc.



Global Events Move Markets

On Sept. 6, 2012 three major U.S. market indices rose to years-long highs on news that the European Central Bank plans to buy bonds of struggling countries to help support the euro.

  • The S&P 500 closed at 1,432.12, its highest point since January 2008.
  • The Dow hit 13,292, its highest close since December 2007.
  • Nasdaq closed at 3,135.81, its highest mark since November 2000.

American Investor Study


Learn more about Scottrade’s annual study of American investors and how it examines the public’s current viewpoints about investing and personal finance.