In spite of a changing economy, Americans are determined to save & invest more money in 2010 according to an annual New Year’s Resolution survey released by TD AMERITRADE Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: AMTD).
While health-related resolutions, such as exercising more and losing weight, remained a top resolution, 75% of respondents report they will make at least one financial-related New Year’s resolution in 2010. (last year, it was 71%)
“Perhaps we’re seeing signs of the lessons learned from a struggling economy. Investor confidence took a hit during the recession, but rather than feeling discouraged, people are using this as motivation to get on track and be better prepared for the future,” said Diane Young, director, retirement and goal planning, TD AMERITRADE.
Driving this positive trend are Hispanic Americans and African Americans, with a total of 56 percent reporting they are more likely to make a resolution about personal finances in 2010 than they were in 2009, compared to 32 percent of White Americans who reported the same.
The survey also revealed an increase in the number of women who plan to save more money this year – 66 percent, up from 60 percent last year. This compares to the 59 percent of male respondents who plan to save more money, which showed no change year over year.
Additionally, 52 percent of young Americans (ages 18-34) are more likely to make a New Year’s resolution about personal finances in 2010 – more than any other age group.
And, when it comes to investing and retirement planning, Americans are showing greater ambition this year than last year. The survey found the following to be true:
• Overall, 27 percent of respondents resolve to start or build on retirement savings, such as 401(k) or IRA, compared to 21 percent in 2009.
• Overall, 22 percent plan to start or build an investment portfolio, such as stocks or mutual funds, compared to 13 percent in 2009.
• 38 percent of Hispanics resolved to start or build an investment portfolio, such as stocks or mutual funds in 2010, compared to 10 percent who resolved to do the same in 2009.
• 43 percent of African Americans resolved to start or build an investment portfolio, such as stocks or mutual funds in 2010, compared to 26 percent who resolved to do the same in 2009.
“While it’s encouraging to see such resiliency in the attitudes of Americans, the most important finding here is the need for greater education and better planning. All Americans, no matter what their background, age or gender, should evaluate their current financial situation and put a plan in place to start working towards their long-term financial goals,” Young continued. “Many firms offer free investor education, research and tools, like TD AMERITRADE’s WealthRuler™ and IRA Selection Wizard. We encourage investors to take advantage of these free tools to help implement their investment decisions.”
How much of a barometer is a New Year’s resolution? The general consensus may be that they are easily made and easily broken, but when it comes to money, people stick to their guns. In fact, when asked how well they stuck to last year’s personal finance resolution, 60 percent reported they are still going strong.
For more information on how TD AMERITRADE can help investors with retirement planning or other long-term investment goals, please visit www.tdameritrade.com.
In A Nutshell
Demographic differences related to race in the survey:
• 56 percent of American Hispanics and Blacks surveyed are more likely (compared to 32% of White Americans) to make a resolution about personal finances for 2010.
• 80 percent of American Hispanics and Blacks surveyed think they can achieve a resolution to save more or contribute more to savings, compared to 61% of White Americans.
Up + 28% vs. last year . . . 38 percent of Hispanics resolved to start or build an investment portfolio, such as stocks or mutual funds in 2010, compared to 10 percent who resolved to do the same in 2009.
Up +17 % vs. last year . . . 43 percent of Blacks resolved to start or build an investment portfolio, such as stocks or mutual funds in 2010, compared to 26 percent who resolved to do the same in 2009.
Up +17% vs. last year . . . 46 percent of Hispanics resolved to start or build on retirement savings, such as 401(k) or IRA in 2010, compared to 29 percent who resolved to do the same in 2009.
Up +11% vs. last year . . . 58 percent of Hispanics resolve to reduce their spending in 2010, compared to 47 percent who resolved to do the same in 2009.
Related to gender:
Up +6 % vs. last year . . . 66 percent of women surveyed resolved to save more money in 2010, up from 60 percent last year. Men (59%) showed no change year over year.
Americans in General
Personal finance resolutions (save more money, pay off debt, reduce spending, start/build retirement savings like 401k/IRA, start/build investment portfolio like stocks/mutual funds) as a category are as popular for 2010 as health resolutions (exercise more, lose weight, eat better) with 75 percent of respondents planning to make at lease one finance-related resolution. (vs. 71 percent last year)
Change among those who plan to make personal finance New Year’s resolutions for 2010 vs. 2009:
+9% 22 percent plan to start or build an investment portfolio, such as stocks or mutual funds compared to 13 percent for 2009
+6 % 27 percent resolve to start or build on retirement savings, such as 401(k) or IRA, compared to 21 percent for 2009
+4 % 63 percent plan to save more money in 2010, compared to 59 percent for 2009
+3 % 48 percent resolve to pay off debt, such as credit cards, education or mortgage, compared to 45 percent for 2009
+ 2 % 48 percent resolve to reduce spending, compared to 46 percent for 2009
• 58 percent of respondents think they can achieve a resolution to save or invest more for their future in 2010.
• 55 percent wish they knew more about personal finance management.
These results are based on a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey on behalf of TD AMERITRADE. One thousand and two (1,002) adults who are age 21 or older participated in a telephone survey conducted September 24-27, 2009. Survey participants across the country were asked to share their New Year’s resolutions for 2010. The margin of error in this survey is ±3.1 percentage points. This means that in 19 cases out of 20, survey results based on 1,002 respondents will differ by no more than 3.1 percentage points in either direction from what would have been obtained by seeking the opinions of all eligible US adults who are 21 years of age or older.
Opinion Research Corporation and TD AMERITRADE Institutional are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s products and services.
Opinion Research Corporation is a leader in global market research with expertise in Information Technology and Telecommunications, Healthcare, Financial Services, Public Services and Consumer Behavior. For more information, visit www.opinionresearch.com .
About TD AMERITRADE Holding Corporation
TD AMERITRADE Holding Corporation, through its brokerage subsidiaries— TD AMERITRADE, Inc., member FINRA (www.FINRA.org) /SIPC (www.SIPC.org), TD AMERITRADE Clearing, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, and thinkorswim, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC/NFA (www.nfa.futures.org)—combines innovative trading technology, easy-to-use and understand investment tools and services, investor education and a client-centric, multi-channel sales and service model to create a market-leading financial services experience. Now home to the award-winning thinkorswim brokerage and dynamic trading platform— thinkorswim was rated #1 overall online broker, “best for frequent traders,” and “best for options traders” in Barron’s ranking of online brokers, 3/16/2009. thinkorswim was evaluated versus others in eight total categories, including trade experience/execution, trading technology, usability, range of offerings, research amenities, portfolio analysis & reporting, customer service & access and costs—and the Investools investor education program, TD AMERITRADE provides millions of retail investors, traders and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) with the tools, service and support they need to help build confidence in today’s rapidly-changing market environment. The Company’s common stock trades under the ticker symbol AMTD. For more information, please visit www.amtd.com. •