Election, health care costs driving Americans to change investing, saving habits

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks in Philadelphia (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) First Lady Michelle Obama speaks in Philadelphia (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

A new report by Edward Jones found that 90 percent of Americans plan to make changes to their savings and investment strategies in the next six months because of the U.S. presidential election.

The survey of 1,010 people, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, examined which domestic and international issues were the most likely to affect their investment and savings decisions in the next six months.

The election and healthcare costs were the top two issues cited, with 39 percent and 30 percent of Americans pointing to them, respectively. Another 21 percent of respondents cited ongoing European and global economic issues. Only 5 percent of savers and investors said they would maintain their current investments and savings plan over the next six months.

"With the U.S. presidential election and global economic issues continuing to make headlines, it's easy for nervous investors to attempt to chase positive returns by making rash changes to their portfolios," said Edward Jones' Investment Strategist Kate Warne. "More than ever, we are focused on reminding our clients and investors that the market and economy are more powerful forces than politics.  Despite the political uncertainty surrounding future policy changes, it's important to avoid making unnecessary changes that could mean missing out on the potential for long-term gains."

The survey found out that age played no role in deciding whether or not to change investment strategies, but those between the ages of 35 and 44 and those 65 and over were the most likely to make changes because of the election. Respondents between 18 and 34 were more worried about health care costs.

Ninety-one percent of men and 89 percent of women said they planned to make a change in the next six months, with women more likely to cite health care costs as the main reason for the decision, with 36 percent of them listing it as their top concern.

Men were much more likely to see the ongoing European and global economic issues as a significant factor going forward, compared to 15 percent of women.

People living in the western half of the country were more likely to point to concerns over European and global economic issues than the general population and Midwesterners were the least likely.

Ninety-six percent of the most affluent respondents, those making over $100,000 a year, were the most likely to change their saving or investment strategy in the next six months. Health care was the predominant factor for an investment strategy change in households with between $35,000 and $50,000 of income.

Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada.


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