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People are concerned about how the performance of stocks affects their personal financial situation. And hearing about corporate abuses makes Americans loath to put their funds into company stocks. In a June 2002 Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 57 percent said they do not have confidence that “when it comes to financial information that major stock brokerage firms and corporations provide to the public, the information is straightforward and an honest analysis.� A June CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll asked, “Do the recent scandals involving large corporations make you less likely to invest in the stock market or not?� Fully 58 percent responded yes.

In a survey of 500 people with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more and who manage the investments for their household, 13 percent of respondents said they would have to delay retirement because of stock losses. According to the poll, conducted by International Communications Research in December 2001 for Quicken, 23 percent of those age 55 and older said they would have to retire later as a result of slumping stocks. And this was before the steeper market slide of 2002.


Nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) of investors plan to take some form of action as a result of the stock market decline this past year.

Which of these actions have you taken or are you now taking as a result of the stock market decline over the past year?

Total HHI $75k+
Investing the same — no change in strategy 25% 24%
Investing more conservatively 14% 21%
Investing more aggressively 3% 6%
Generally continuing with my original investment plan with just some fine-tuning 30% 34%
Putting more money into retirement accounts 17% 17%
Waiting for losers to rebound in price before investing any more 11% 16%
Putting all my money in bank accounts, CDs and money market funds 8% 7%
Source: Harris Interactive, May 2002
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