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Something Different: Investors Trading Stocks for Bonds and Cash

According to data from Smart Money, investors continue to trade stocks for bonds and cash.

Articles by Jon

By Jon Stein
CEO & Founder, Betterment  |  Published: October 1, 2009

Smart Money says that the New Investor Has Different Priorities. According to their data, investors continue to trade stocks for bonds and cash:

Mutual-fund investors put an estimated $43 billion into bonds and withdrew $1.7 billion in stocks in August, even as the Dow was charging from its March low of 6,547 on its way to last week’s 9,820. Cash now stands at $3.5 trillion, above where it stood at the height of the financial crisis.

Big numbers, and indicates that people are still afraid of stocks. But it’s the wrong time to be afraid of stocks – after the fall is when we see the best growth opportunities. What do these investors want?

So if he or she isn’t jumping into equities, what does this new investor want and how will these altered desires change the market and the economy? In brief, they want more safety, preservation of capital, lower fees and more transparent products. These desires will push them toward fixed-income investments and other offerings that provide consistent returns and those that are easy to understand like indexes and exchange-traded funds.

Their needs will push them to products like Betterment. A product that offers an inflation protected, government-backed fixed-income portfolio. A product that offers a transparent, well-diversified stock market portfolio (composed of indexed exchange-traded funds). A simple product that is easy to understand and so puts them in control of their own risk and return. Seems like Betterment is the natural answer to every investor’s question right now.

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