Gallup Poll: Real Estate Still Leads Stocks as Best Investment

Gallup Poll: Real Estate Still Leads Stocks as Best Investment

A recent Gallup poll found that 35% of Americans say real estate is the best long-term investment option, easily beating the 27% preference for stocks.

The April 1-9 Gallup poll was conducted amid the ongoing bull stock market, but before the recent stock index records. In recent years, the real estate market has also been hot, with home values in 2018 the highest on record, and Americans expect home prices to continue to rise.

Previous Gallup analysis showed that stock ownership has declined among most major U.S. subgroups since before the recession, with the exception of upper-income and older Americans.

Stock owners, not surprisingly, are more positive than the general public is about stocks as an investment, Gallup reported.

Thirty-seven percent of stock owners (compared with 27% of U.S. adults) rank stocks as the best long-term investment option, essentially tying it for first with real estate (38%) among stock investors.

Americans who own both stocks and a home are also divided as to which is the best investment, with 40% choosing real estate and 38% stocks.

Historically, stocks have performed better in the long term than real estate and other investments have, but Americans still regard real estate as a better bet. The recent gains in stock prices have been a boon to investors, but barely half of Americans have reaped the rewards.

The percentage of Americans who invest in the stock market — 55% — has stayed relatively steady in recent years, improving only slightly from the low point of 52% registered in 2013 and 2016, despite the strong performance of stocks. The rate of stock ownership remains significantly lower than it was before the Great Recession, including 62% in 2007.

Meanwhile, some investors could find real estate confusing and intimidating.

To be sure, real estate investment trusts (REITS), publicly traded companies that own properties, could be good bets for conservative investors since they pay lucrative dividends that can help provide stable income — much like bonds, CNN Money explained.

For example, companies that buy up single family homes so they can rent them out are one type of REIT that could make sense. Investment management firm Blackstone (BX) has a separately traded REIT named Invitation Homes (INVH) that does that. There’s also a company called American Homes 4 Rent (AMH).

“So you don’t need to be a billionaire (or even millionaire) to become a real estate mogul,” CNN explained.

Meanwhile, according to a recent survey by STASH, an investing app, 31% of Americans don’t invest because they think it is risky. That being said, the same survey identified 39% of people thinking that winning the lottery jackpot was a potential means of planning for retirement, Forbes explained.

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