Best Long Term Investment?

Apr 28, 2014 by

What's the allure?

What’s the allure?

Gallup’s been conducting an annual survey of American adults including this question:

Which of the following do you think is the best long-term investment?

  1. Real Estate
  2. Stocks/Mutual Funds
  3. Gold
  4. Savings Accounts/CDs
  5. Bonds
  6. Other/No Opinion

Here are the results for the past four surveys (results from the latest were just released) plus post-meltdown April 2009:

Best Long Term Investment

A few of  my own, always pithy, observations:

  • First, what is the deal with gold? The survey didn’t include gold as an option in 2009, but in 2011 gold was the preferred long term investment choice, by a wide margin, with nearly 35% of the respondents choosing the yellow metal as the best long term investment. On the coat tails of the financial meltdown, I have to believe even more would have picked gold in April 2009. Folks, gold is a chemical element, number 79 in the periodic table, symbol Au. It generates no income, can’t grow, and has no entertainment value. What do you think explains Americans’ love of gold? (Consider this an invitation to submit a guest post!)
  • In a great example of humans’ tendency to shoot themselves in the feet when it comes to investment decisions, equities were preferred by only 15% in April 2009. But as stocks have steadily gained value, so have they regained favor with Americans. Many more believe stocks a better long-term investment today, with the S&P 500 at 1,865 than thought the same in April 2009 when the S&P Index was around 850. Evidently the S&P 500’s 120% gain over the past five years has restored some investors’ faith in Wall Street.
  • Despite the considerable rebound in housing prices, 30% of 2014’s respondents chose real estate—the top choice—as the best long term investment.

What’s YOUR Choice for the Best Long Term Investment?

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