Lots of People Invested Their Stimulus Checks—But In What?

Lots of People Invested Their Stimulus Checks—But In What?

One thing is for certain: the pandemic definitely made Americans change their financial thinking. 


According to a recent CNBC survey, nearly a third of investors invested at least some of their stimulus funds, and that was the case for nearly half of young investors. 

Of those aged eighteen to thirty-four, forty-nine percent of those in the CNBC/SurveyMonkey survey said they invested their stimulus money. According to CNBC, “Fifteen percent invested in individual stocks, eleven percent purchased cryptocurrency, nine percent invested in mutual funds, and eight percent bought exchange-traded funds (ETFs).”


The survey also asked more general questions about financial and investing behavior. 

About eleven percent of people surveyed currently invest in cryptocurrency, with more men than women investing in that particular vehicle. Almost half of those investors began doing so in the last year. 

The survey also looked at who has what types of financial accounts. 

“Seven in ten (seventy percent) [of] Americans own a traditional bank checking account. This is the most common financial account that men and women of all races/ethnicities hold. Racial differences, however, persist. While more than three-quarters (seventy-eight percent) of white men have a traditional bank account, only half (fifty-one percent) of Black women do (seventy-one percent of white women, sixty-three percent of black men, sixty-seven percent of Hispanic men, sixty-four percent of Hispanic women).”

In addition, older Americans are more likely to have a traditional checking account than younger ones. 

About seventy percent of the public, per the survey, has some type of debt. Over a third of Americans, thirty-five percent, do not own “real estate, individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, cryptocurrency, nor exchange-traded funds.” 

In terms of investments, people do have, about a third have individual stocks, a quarter owns mutual funds, twelve percent own bonds, and ten percent own ETFs, in addition to the eleven percent who own cryptocurrency. A full quarter of those surveyed began investing in 2020 or later. Around ten percent of young investors, the survey said, learned about investing from social media, which was described as “the most popular way that young investors research investment ideas.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to color the general public’s perception of financial recovery. Almost a quarter (twenty-three percent) of people agree that COVID-19 is the biggest risk to their personal finances over the next twelve months,” the survey said. “Investors differ from the general public, and believe inflation will most impact their personal finances in the next twelve months (twenty percent). Despite this, about half (fifty-four percent) of investors say that the pandemic has not changed their investment strategy. Of investors that say the pandemic has changed their strategy, eighteen percent say they are now investing in different sectors, and sixteen percent are investing less aggressively than before.”

 Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters