'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions, and while many are focused on losing weight or spending less, E*TRADE customers are planning on increasing retirement savings, adjusting their asset allocations, and becoming more educated about their finances and investments.
That's according to E*TRADE Financial Company's (ETFC) most recent StreetWise survey, the New York-based online brokerage's quarterly tracking study of experienced investors. E*TRADE found that the number one New Year's resolution is increasing retirement plan contributions. The online brokerage saw a six-percentage-point increase compared with a year ago in those signaling that stepping up their contributions is their top New Year's resolution, with 40% of survey respondents gearing up to allocate more to their retirement plans in 2018.
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Coming in second, with close to 40% of survey respondents naming it as their New Year's resolution, is adjusting asset allocations. With the stock market rising all year and stocks setting new highs seemingly every month, many investors' asset allocations have gotten out of whack. As a result, lots of investors are planning on adjusting their allocations next year. E*TRADE said the number of investors that plan to tweak their asset allocation is in line with a year ago. Financial education is also on the minds of E*TRADE investors, with 35% saying that this is their focus for the new year. Survey respondents want to learn more about investing, trading and the different markets, which is in line with responses from a year ago, said E*TRADE.
"The market in 2017 exceeded many investor expectations by continually reaching higher highs, pressing forward amid shifting political and social agendas, and significant Fed moves," commented Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*TRADE, in the press release. "As the sun rises on 2018, it's no surprise that investors are more likely to be engaging with the market through retirement accounts given the bull market's continued run. With a pro-business agenda in Congress, strong corporate earnings, and the economy buzzing, investors are clearly hoping this bull has some more room to run."
Other insight gleaned from the survey include that millennials are more interested in learning about investing than their older counterparts. Gen Xers are more focused on retirement investing, with more than half wanting to increase their retirement contributions. Meanwhile, senior investors are the most focused on tweaking their asset allocations, with more than half of Boomers listing that as a top priority for 2018.