What’s the most popular way to obtain information for investors? Learn how younger and older investors use the media to learn about a most pressing financial issue.
The fiscal cliff is casting a long shadow on the U.S. economy. What’s the most popular way to obtain information for investors wishing to understand the issue dominating the financial news? How does this knowledge affect financial decision-making?
Older respondents rely primarily on television for coverage of the fiscal cliff, while the Internet serves as the primary source of information for investors ages 40 and younger, according to our October survey of more than 1,350 investors. Regardless of what media they prefer, older investors are much bigger consumers of news on the fiscal cliff and are much more likely to say they understand its implications.
Nearly half of investors ages 40 and younger say they are not getting any information on the fiscal cliff, compared to one-fourth of investors ages 60 older. It follows that more than 62 percent of investors ages 60 and older say they know what people are talking about when they discuss the fiscal cliff, but only 35 percent of investors ages 40 and younger feel this way.
What are the most common sources of information for investors ages 60 and older? The primary source is television (55 percent), followed by newspapers (51 percent), the Internet (44 percent), radio (27 percent) and magazines (25 percent). What are the most popular sources of information for investors ages 40 and younger? These millennials and Gen Xers are most likely to learn about the fiscal cliff from Internet sources (34 percent), television (26 percent) or newspapers (21 percent). They are equally likely to learn about the fiscal cliff from friends and family or the radio (18 percent).
Older investors not only take in more information on the fiscal cliff, they also place more trust in their sources. More than 37 percent say the information they’re receiving is “very reliable,” compared to 22 percent of investors ages 40 and younger.
Older investors are more likely than their younger counterparts to have a plan in place should Congress fail to address the issues surrounding the fiscal cliff. Roughly 35 percent of investors ages 60 and older anticipate changing their asset allocation in such a scenario, compared to 20 percent of investors ages 40 and younger. Older investors are more than twice as likely as younger investors to invest more in cash (32 percent vs. 15 percent, respectively,) gold (14 percent vs. 11 percent, respectively) or bonds (10 percent vs. 8 percent, respectively). Younger investors are more likely to invest more in stocks (10 percent vs. 6 percent, respectively) or real estate (10 percent vs. 8 percent, respectively).
“Investor confidence and knowledge also support proactive financial decision-making,” Catherine McBreen, president of Millionaire Corner, said. “Our research indicates that a high level of investor confidence is linked to a high usage of varied sources of information for investors