by | Dec 14, 2020 | Portfolio Management

At Sophisticated Investor, we understand in this utterly unprecedented year that has been 2020, Americans are striving to find investments that will prove to be the best option at keeping their hard-earned money safe. We conducted a survey asking 5,001 Americans which investments they believed will be the safest in the new year. We used the Google Publisher Network through Google Surveys, and targeted males and females between the ages of 25 and 65+ from coast to coast. We asked the following question with several possible responses:

Which of the following investments do you think will do best in 2021?

  • Real Estate
  • Stocks & Bonds
  • Gold & Silver
  • Savings Account at the Bank
  • Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.)
  • Fixed Annuities
  • U.S. Treasury Issued Securities

Here’s the link to the survey with sorting and filtering options:

https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/bf6985b3-851f-46cd-94c2-ced2c758fac1/page/ReCtB

Real Estate, Stocks, & Bonds Are Considered The Safest Investment In 2021, While US Treasuries Rank Dead Last

In general, the majority of Americans believe real estate, stocks, and bonds will be the safest investments in the coming year. More pointedly, American women have the most confidence in real estate as an investment in 2021, while men believe stocks & bonds will do best. Based on a survey conducted a few months ago asking what investors viewed as “the safest” investments for their retirement accounts, real estate, stocks & bonds still have strong investor confidence. Additionally, based on a similar survey we conducted over a year ago prior to the global pandemic, confidence in gold and silver as a safe investment has likewise increased. Yet, confidence in US Treasury issued securities ranks dead last. Furthermore, investors now believe cryptocurrencies to be a safer investment compared to previous surveys.  

Women Believe Real Estate Is The Safest Investment, Especially Females Between 55 And 64 Years Old

Overall, 27.33% of survey respondents indicated that they believed real estate would be the safest investment in 2021.

Yet, compelling insight was gained when demographic filters were applied to the survey results. When gender was specifically targeted, 30.7% of all female respondents indicated that they had the most confidence in real estate as an investment for the new year. Additionally, when demographic filters focused specifically on females between 55 and 64 years old, the percentage leapt to an astounding 33.6%. Conversely, when demographic filters focused specifically on males, only 23.7% of all participants indicated that they believed real estate would be the safest investment – coming second to stocks & bonds.

In general, older American women either approaching retirement or in their retirement years had the most confidence in real estate as an investment. Of female respondents 55 and over, 33.1% stated that this would be the safest investment in 2021.

(Breakdown by Gender)

Males Have The Most Confidence In Stocks & Bonds As An Investment, Especially Males 55 And Over

The sexes did not agree with one another on this survey!  Overall, male participants indicated that they believed stocks & bonds would do best in 2021, with 27.9% selecting this option.

Of all the demographics who participated in the survey, males 55 years old and over stated that they thought stocks & bonds were the safest investment, at 31.3%. 

On the other hand, when demographic filters focused specifically on female respondents, only 22.7% stated that they believed stocks & bonds were the safest investment option in the new year. In particular, only 21.1% of females between 25 and 34 years old stated that they believed stocks & bonds would do best in 2021.

Males Between 35 And 44 Years Old Have The Most Confidence In Gold & Silver As An Investment

Of the survey participants, 18.24% indicated that they believed gold and silver were the safest investments.

Yet, when demographic filters were applied focusing solely on males between 35 and 44, the percentage soared to 24.6%. Thus, gold and silver proved to be the most popular investment option with this cohort. Curiously, only 13.7% of female respondents from this age group selected the response.

Females Between 25 And 34 Believe A Savings Account At The Bank Is Safest

Another investment that Americans regard as the safest option is a savings account at the bank, with 10.74%.

Curiously, when demographic filters were applied focusing specifically on Millennial females between 25 and 34, the percentage rose to 14.4%. In general, 13.6% of 25 to 34-year-olds stated that they considered a savings account to be the safest investment option in 2021.

Millennials Believe Cryptocurrencies Will Be The Safest Investment In 2021

Of the participants, 8.66% stated that they believed cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum would do best in the new year.

Yet, when demographic filters targeted only Millenials between 25 and 34, the percentage increased to 11.7%. Moreover, when the focus was specifically males from this cohort, 12% stated that they believed cryptocurrencies to be the best investment option. In truth, it is unsurprising that the younger demographic regard cryptocurrencies to be the safest investment, given that it is a newer asset class and the fact that it is highly volatile. 

Females 65+ Have The Most Confidence In Fixed Annuities As The Safest Investment

The penultimate survey response garnering a meager 5.47% of responses was fixed annuities.

However, when demographic filters were applied focusing solely on older Americans 65+, the percentage increased to 6.8%. When the focus was specifically females from this cohort, the percentage rose further to 7.1%.

Very Few Americans Have Confidence In US Treasury-Issued Securities As A Safe Investment Option

Lastly, a paltry 4.37% of all respondents stated that they believed US Treasury issued securities would be the safest investment in the new year.

Yet, when demographic results were applied specifically focusing on males between 25 and 34 years old, 6.3% selected this investment option. Overall, younger American investors had more confidence in Treasury-issued securities than their older counterparts. With both the 25 to 34, and 35 to 44 demographics, this investment option ranked second to last. Yet, for all remaining respondents, 45 and older, US Treasury-issued securities ranked dead last in investor confidence for 2021.

Conclusion

In this age of unprecedented uncertainty that is the global pandemic, based on the results of this survey American investors have the most confidence in real estate and stocks & bonds as safe investments for the new year. Yet, the sentiment is divided by gender, with women viewing real estate as the safest option, and males believing that stocks & bonds will perform the best despite the volatility of the market. The recent developments of viable COVID-19 vaccination roll-outs, bring the prospect of a new normalcy. In this period of turmoil, the most that Americans can do is find the safest investment options to make certain that the forthcoming new year will prove better than the last.

Link to full survey with filtering options: 

https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/bf6985b3-851f-46cd-94c2-ced2c758fac1/page/ReCtB

Details About The Study And RMS Score

Sampling

Audience: Users on websites in the Google Surveys Publisher Network

Method: Representative

Age: 25 to 65+

Gender: All Genders

Location: United States

Language: English

Frequency: Once

Root mean square error (RMSE) is a weighted average of the difference between the predicted population sample (CPS) and the actual sample (Google). The lower the number, the smaller the overall sample bias.

Sarah Bauder

Sarah Bauder is a financial writer with over a decade of experience at numerous online publications, writing about alternative investments, retirement, US politics, world economy and more.

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