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Real estate keeps #1 ranking as favorite for long-term investing

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Real estate retained its top spot as American’s favorite long-term investment, according to a survey by Bankrate. That marked the third time in the past four years and sixth time in the past decade that respondents picked real estate for investing money they didn’t need for 10 or more years.

In all, 29% of the 1,025 adults who were surveyed about investment preferences had real estate as the favored tool, followed by the runner up, stocks, which claimed 26% of the votes. Cash finished third, but the percentage who chose it fell from 25% in 2021 to 17% this year.

“Preference for cash moderated notably,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate chief financial analyst. In fact, he commented, its 17% showing marked its lowest rating in a decade’s worth of polls.

Gold or other precious metals and bonds tied, with each garnering a 9% share. They were followed by bitcoin/cryptocurrency at 6%, which fell from its year-ago total of 9%.

Three percent answered “none of these” when asked to select from the options.

While retaining its top ranking, real estate slipped from its highest showing of 31% in 2019.

Stocks surged from its year-ago tally of 16% to 26%. Stocks were the top pick for baby boomers, college graduates and higher earners. Of those who did not select stocks as their preferred investment, more than a third (36%) cited high volatility as the biggest deterrent.

Other respondents gave different reasons for why they didn’t select stocks. Those reasons included “intimidated by the stock market” (16%); “the investment returns won’t keep pace with others” (15%); “the stock market is rigged against individuals” (14%); and “focused on preserving money rather than growing it” (10%).

About three-fourths (75%) of Americans said they are apprehensive about cryptocurrency. Only 21% said they were somewhat or very comfortable with investing in cryptocurrency.

Age seemed to play a role in influencing some of the responses. Volatility of stocks was a factor for the decision of 44% of baby boomers and 40% of Generation X, while only 29% of millennials cited that as affecting their decision.

In addition to age, the Bankrate survey also analyzed responses by income and gender.

The 10th annual survey by Bankrate, an independent, ad-supported publisher and comparison service was conducted in mid-June using both telephone and the web. Data are weighted and are intended to represent all U.S. adults.

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