The media is getting annoyed that people don’t want to panic anymore, or pre-panic about horrible things that haven’t happened again.
Bloomberg News did a telephone poll with 1,006 investors who had over $10,000 in their investment accounts:
A little more than half of U.S. investors anticipate a decline this year that will wipe out “significant gains,” according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup poll results. That’s fully 54 percent of the respondents, though down from previous survey highs in 2013 (62 percent) and 2014 (58 percent).
Yet just 18 percent said they’re selling stocks to shield their portfolios from a downdraft, and only one out of five said they were buying bonds to limit their exposure to stock market risk. Forty percent said they weren’t rebalancing their portfolio, and 48 percent said they weren’t currently working with a financial adviser.
We are rats in a maze. Every time we didn’t panic-sell over the last 5 years, it led to us getting more cheese. One day the cheese won’t be there, but this tranquil behavior has now been reinforced with rewards dozens of times over the last half-decade. New habits die hard once they become ingrained.