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Best Places for Working Women 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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The gender wage gap remains a frustrating reality in the United States. The ratio of women’s median earnings to men’s median earnings is 82%, across all industries and professions. In addition, women still face challenges breaking into or thriving in certain industries that are historically dominated by men. While society has made some progress toward gender wage equality, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

For the third year in a row, MagnifyMoney has analyzed and ranked the 50 largest U.S. metros to find the best — and worst — places to be a working woman in 2020. Our study looks at the best places for working women in terms of job opportunities, the chance for upward mobility and entrepreneurship, fair wages and protections for mothers.

Key findings

  • Washington D.C. holds on to the top spot for the third year in a row. It has an overall score of 70.5 this year, dropping about four points from last year.
  • Charlotte, N.C. remains the toughest city in our analysis for working women. Opportunities can be hard to find in the ironically named Queen City, with a 6% female unemployment rate and low percentages of women business owners and managers. Its overall score dropped half a point to 31.6.
  • Child care is extremely expensive across the 50 metro areas analyzed. Child care costs eat up nearly 22% of earnings, on average.
    • Assuming that housing costs equal 25% to 30% of income, and add in the average percentage of 22% for child care, there goes nearly half of the average woman’s earnings. That leaves little room for savings after you factor in expenses like food and transportation.
    • Child care costs have only slightly improved from last year, when they took up nearly 23% of a woman’s income.
  • At 52.4%, over half of Nevada’s state legislators are women. Kudos to Las Vegas, which has the highest percentage of women legislators in the 50 metro areas we examined for this study. Second place goes to Denver — 46% of Colorado’s legislators are women.
    • Tennessee has a lot to learn from Nevada and Colorado. In Nashville and Memphis, women make up only 15.2% of the Volunteer State’s legislators.
  • The largest gender wage gap among the metro areas we looked at is in San Jose (28%), which is unsurprising given its location in Silicon Valley. According to the United States Census Bureau, only about 26% of Americans working in computer, engineering and science jobs are women.
    • The earnings gap between men and women who work full-time is down about 1% from 19.5% to 18.3% over the 2017-2018 time period.
  • Almost half (22) of the metro areas we looked at offer no state protections to workers who are pregnant or who have children.
    • In contrast, Boston managed to snag the highest score of 80 for these protections in our methodology.

The top 10 U.S. metros for working women

The table below shows the 10 cities that offer working women the most equitable compensation and most opportunities for career advancement. Coastal cities seem to fare better, with four located on the West Coast and three on the East Coast.

  • Washington D.C. continues to top the list, thanks to its strong scores across the board: Washington D.C. has strong policies in place to protect working women, scoring high for both parental and pregnancy workplace protection. Additionally, plenty of women in D.C. are climbing the corporate ladder. Nearly 44% of managers in the nation’s capital are women — the highest percentage of all the metros we studied, tied with Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Seattle comes in second: It has the highest percentage of businesses owned by women and one of the top percentages of female managers. It also has one of the highest percentages of women with employer-provided health insurance (70.2%). One persistent hurdle for working women in the Emerald City is the pay gap between men and women. There is a 23% gap in earnings between men and women here, which is 1% higher than last year.
  • San Francisco is third: This city has one of the lowest unemployment rates for women. Another plus is that women are an important part of the entrepreneur community. Our analysis shows 34% of San Francisco businesses are woman-owned.
  • Minneapolis shines for not only employing women, but insuring its working women, too: It has the lowest percentage of unemployed women at 3.2%. Even better, of all those employed women, 72.6% have employer-provided health insurance — the highest percentage of all 50 metro areas we looked at. Where the Mill City falls behind a bit, however, is its child care costs and lack of robust protections for working parents and pregnant women.

The bottom 10 U.S. metros for working women

Of the 10 cities that offer women the least favorable economic conditions, public policies and leadership opportunities, most are concentrated in the South. Specifically, six of the 10 are in Southern states:

  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Birmingham, Ala.
  • Memphis, Tenn.
  • Oklahoma City
  • Miami
  • Houston
  • Charlotte, N.C. maintains its rock-bottom spot in our rankings: Women have nearly nonexistent parental protections in Charlotte, and among all the metro areas we studied, women in Charlotte pay the most in child care, which claims an average of more than 26% of earnings. The gender wage gap in Charlotte even went up one percentage point, while the percentage of state legislators who are women dropped slightly.
  • Detroit also made little improvement, keeping its spot in 49th place: It may prove to be slightly difficult for women looking for employment in Detroit, despite the improving economy. Our analysis shows that 6.5% of women in Detroit are unemployed. Less than 26% of businesses in Detroit are women-owned — a fairly low mark. For the women who are employed, they have to fight against the second highest gender wage gap in our analysis at 27.6%. The outlook is even bleaker for mothers, as Detroit offers virtually zero parental and pregnancy workplace state protections.
  • Birmingham, Ala. has the second-lowest percentage of businesses owned by women (23.9%), which doesn’t offer much upward mobility: The metro area also fails to protect its working mothers when it comes to paid leave, pregnancy accommodation and flexible time off to attend school events. In our scoring system, Birmingham scored 0, like many of our bottom 10 cities. Without these protections, it’s little consolation that women in Birmingham, Ala. pay the smallest percentage (17.3%) of their earnings for child care.
  • Tennessee lacks women in government: At 15.2%, the state has the lowest percentage of women as state legislators. This brings down the Memphis metro area into the bottom 10 (No. 47) as well as Nashville, which ranked at No. 39. Memphis also scored low thanks in part to its unemployment rate among women — at 7.2% it’s the second highest on our list — and the little entrepreneurial opportunities it provides to women. Women own only 24.6% of businesses in Memphis.
  • Miami faces a conundrum: there seem to be plenty of job opportunities for women, but these aren’t necessarily the most secure: The city has the lowest gender wage gap (8.6%) in our analysis, but only half (51.2%) of its working women are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. Miami also failed our workplace protections scoring system for parents, with a score of 0.

Full rankings: Where the largest 50 U.S. metros fit in

The table below provides a full overview of where each of the 50 largest U.S. cities rank. Check to see if your city is among the friendliest places for working women — or if it’s a spot where they’ll have more challenges getting ahead.

Data and methodology

MagnifyMoney took the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and ranked them against each other on a 100-point scale, based on eight factors relevant to women’s ability to achieve financial and professional success. The final score for each MSA is the average of points assigned for each metric, and those points are assigned based on where the metro falls between the highest and lowest values for all metros. The eight factors are:

  • Employment. We looked at the percent of women who are unemployed, as reported in the American Community Survey 2018 from the U.S. Census Bureau (2018 ACS). We want to ensure a metro area is conducive for women’s employment.
  • Health care. This is the percent of women between the ages of 18 and 64 (inclusive) who have employer-based health insurance, as reported by the 2018 ACS. In America, health care and employment are undeniably linked. Since access to health care is vital, especially for women, we wanted to make sure insurance is available in the top metro areas.
  • Business ownership. Percent of businesses with employees that are owned, either wholly or equally, by women, derived from the 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs from the U.S. Census Bureau. This metric can help us see where women are not only employed, but thriving with their own business.
  • Management positions. Percent of people in management occupations who are women, derived from the 2017 ACS. This metric helps check for upward mobility.
  • Wage gap. Gap, as a percent, between median earnings of men and women, derived from the 2017 ACS. The best places for working women are going to be ones with smaller wage gaps.
  • Child care. The average cost of in-center child care, as a percent of median earnings for women. Day care costs were reported in The Care Index from New America and Care.com, and median earnings were reported by the 2018 ACS. Child care is an important factor to consider for working moms.
  • Representation. The percent of elected state (or district) legislators who are women, as reported by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics. The rights of working women are an important factor in the workplace so adequate representation is essential.
  • Workplace protections. State pregnancy and parental workplace protections were scored on the following basis. The highest possible score was 100 points and the lowest was zero. The highest actual score was 80 and the lowest actual score was zero. Workplace protections ensure a safer and better working environment for women.
    • Paid leave: The number of paid parental leave weeks covered by the state, divided by a maximum of 12 weeks, up to 50 points. Data was reported by the National Partnership for Women & Families. Paid leave controls for stability and fair workplace laws.
    • Pregnancy accommodation protections: Finding the best place for working women means all women at all life stages; this includes checking for pregnancy accommodations. Each MSA was granted points based on six factors reported by the National Partnership for Women & Families, for a possible total of 30 points, for the following:
      • The existence of such a law
      • If the law covers both public and private employees
      • If the law covers all employers, regardless of employer size
      • If the law doesn’t specify medical documentation for accommodations
      • If the law doesn’t include an “undue hardship” exemption for employers
      • If the law expressly extends protections for issues related to breastfeeding
    • Allowable time off to attend school events: The number of hours spent at a child’s school, per year, for which a parent cannot be fired, divided by a maximum of 40 hours, up to 20 points. Data was reported by workplacefairness.org. This metric also looks for workplace flexibility.

For the sake of clarity, each metro name is the first city and state listed in the MSA title, which we understand to be the most populous component of each MSA. The Care Index (child care costs) refers to Norfolk, Va., which we associate with the Virginia Beach, Va. MSA.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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10 Great Free Checking Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The humble checking account may not offer rewards, cash back or many of the other perks offered by ritzy credit cards, but it remains the cornerstone of your financial life. Nobody likes paying monthly maintenance fees, so why not pick a free checking account that does away with them altogether?

Below, we’ve selected nine of the best free checking accounts by scouring our database for products meeting the following criteria:

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • A low initial deposit amount (between $0-$50) needed to open the account
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Minimal third-party ATM fees
  • Available nationwide

10 bests free checking accounts of March 2020

Account Name

Minimum needed to open

APY

Consumers Credit Union (IL) Free Rewards Checking$05.09% (applies to balances up to $10,000)
TAB Bank Free Kasasa Cash Checking$04.00% (applies to balances up to $50,000)
T-Mobile Money$04.00%(applies to balances up to $3,000)
One American Bank Kasasa Cash Account$503.50%(applies to balances up to $10,000)
Evansville Teachers FCU Vertical Checking$30 ($25 if you're already a member of this credit union)3.30% (applies to balances up to $20,000)
Lake Michigan Credit Union Max Checking$03.00%(applies to balances up to $15,000)
Andigo Credit Union High-Yield Checking$03.00% (applies to balances up to $10,000)
Simple Account$00% to 1.55% on balances in Protected Goals
Axos Bank$501.25% (applies to balances up to $150,000)
SoFi Money$01.10%

Consumers Credit Union (IL) Free Rewards Checking

The Consumers Credit Union provides an online-only Free Rewards Checking account to anyone in the nation who becomes a member. You can qualify for membership with a one-time $5 payment to Consumers Cooperative Association. Perks of the account, which charges no monthly maintenance fees and requires no minimum balance, include unlimited third-party ATM fee refunds.

However you do have to meet some requirements in order to get all of the benefits of the account (including the high APY). The APY for this account is divided into three tiers, with the lowest earning 3.09%, the middle 4.09% and the highest tier 5.09%. The requirements for each of these tiers are:

To earn 3.09%

  • Receive eStatements
  • Make at least 12 debit card purchases a month
  • Post direct deposits or ACH payments of at least $500 each month

To earn 4.09%

  • Meet all the requirements of the previous tier
  • Have a Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card and spend at least $500 a month on it

To earn 5.09%

  • Meet all the requirements of the previous tier
  • Spend at least $1,000 a month on your Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card

Keep in mind these high APYs only apply to balances up to $10,000. The portion of any balance between $10,000.01 and $25,000 earn 0.20% APY, and balances greater than $25,000 earn an APY of 0.10%.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

TAB Bank Free Kasasa Cash Checking

Headquartered in Ogden, Utah, TAB Bank offers a great rate on its Free Kasasa Cash Checking account. Developed by the Kasasa Corporation, a Texas-based financial services and marketing organization, Kasasa accounts help smaller banks compete against larger rivals by providing higher rates.

TAB’s account charges no fees for using third-party ATMs, and reimburses up to $15 in third-party ATM fees per month. There are no fees and no minimum balance requirement for this account, but to earn 4.00% APY reward rate, every month you must:

  • Deposit at least one ACH payment or direct deposit, or make one bill pay transaction
  • Make at least 15 signature-based debit card purchases of at least $5 each

If you don’t qualify in any given month, your balance earns 0.05% APY, and third-party ATM fees are not refunded. You can earn the reward rate APY on balances up to $50,000, which is well above the other maximum balances on this roundup. Balances greater than $50,000 earn an APY of 0.25%.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on TAB Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

T-Mobile Money

Wireless carrier T-Mobile is venturing out into new territory with a financial product – a competitive one, too. T-Mobile Money is a new checking account that pays a 4.00% APY on balances up to $3,000. Balances over $3,000 earn an APY of 1.00%. There are no monthly fees, overdraft fees, transfer fees, ATM fees or minimum balance requirements.

In order to receive the 4.00% APY, though, T-Mobile Money does require the following:

  • Enroll in a qualifying T-Mobile wireless plan
  • Register for Perks with your T-Mobile ID
  • Make at least $200 in qualifying deposits to your checking account in the calendar month

Balances that do not meet these requirements, or balances over $3,000, will earn 1.00% APY.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on T-Mobile Money’s secure website

Member FDIC

One American Bank Kasasa Cash Account

This small community bank, based in Sioux Falls, SD, offers a nationally available Kasasa Cash checking account that earns a decent 3.50% APY on balances up to $10,000. You need a minimum of $50 to open the account, but after that all you need to do to earn the very competitive APY of 3.50% is:

  • Make at least 12 debit card purchase transactions a month of at least $5.00 each
  • Receive electronic bank statements, account notices and disclosures
  • Log in to online banking at least one time a month

If you meet these qualifications, One American Bank also refunds up $25 in third-party ATM funds per month.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on One American Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union Vertical Checking

Don’t let the name of this credit union fool you—anyone can become a member if they open a $5 savings account, which then allows you to open a Vertical Checking account.

This free checking account doesn’t charge a monthly service fee or require you to maintain a minimum balance, and in return gives you an APY of as high as 3.30% on balances up to $20,000, provided you fulfill the below requirements:

  • Make at least 15 debit purchases each month
  • Make at least one direct deposit into the account each month
  • Login to your mobile or online banking at least once each month
  • Opt in to receive eStatements
  • In addition to the high APY, meeting these requirements entitles you to $15 a month for reimbursing third-party ATM fees.

In addition to the high APY, meeting these requirements entitles you to $15 a month for reimbursing third-party ATM fees.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Lake Michigan Credit Union Max Checking

Despite its name, the Lake Michigan Credit Union is open to anyone who makes a $5 donation to the ALS Foundation. That small donation can pay off tenfold with the credit union’s Max Checking account, which features a 3.00% APY on balances up to $15,000. The account also has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.

In order to receive the 3.00% APY, you must:

  • Direct deposit into any LMCU account
  • Make a minimum of 10 debit or credit card transactions per month
  • Make 4 logins to home banking per month
  • Sign up for e-statements

The Lake Michigan Credit Union’s Max Checking account also offers up to $10 in monthly reimbursements for non-LMCU ATM fees.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Andigo Credit Union High Yield Checking

Another credit union with a competitive checking account is the Andigo Credit Union High Yield Checking account. With a handful of physical branches in Illinois and mobile banking services, Andigo Credit Union is open to anyone who makes a $15 donation to ConnectVETS.

Andigo’s High Yield Checking account features a 3.00% APY on balances up to $10,000, has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements and $12 a month in ATM surcharge rebates. However, to take advantage of the 3.00% APY, you must:

  • Have $500 or more in total direct deposit
  • Make 15 or more debit card purchases per month

Accounts that do not meet those qualifications earn a 0.06% APY. Balances above $10,000 earn 0.10% APY.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Andigo’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Simple Account

Another online-only account, Simple is owned and backed by regional bank BBVA Compass and offers customers a checking account that’s intertwined with the app’s Protected Goals savings account, and additional budgeting tools. Simple doesn’t charge any fees, meaning users enjoy:

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No minimum balance needed
  • No account closing fee
  • No stop payment fees
  • No debit card replacement fee
  • No ATM fee if using Simple’s network, but users can be charged a fee by other banks if using a non-network ATM

One fee you do have to pay is a foreign transaction fee when using your Simple card internationally, which can be up to 1% of the transaction.

As a cash management product, the Simple Account automatically comes with a savings account feature. While the checking balance in a Simple Account earns a token 0.01% APY, Simple’s Protected Goals savings balances earn an APY of 1.55%.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Simple’s secure website

Axos Rewards Checking

With a generous APY and no fees, online bank Axos offers a checking account that stands apart from the pack. Axos’ Rewards Checking account boasts an APY ranging from 0.4166% to 1.25%, depending on your balance and how many monthly transactions you make with your debit card. The account has no maintenance fees and no monthly minimum balance requirements, however there is a required $50 to open an account.

Axos says it does not charge overdraft or NSF fees for customers of its Rewards Checking account. The bank also offers overdraft protection, and will transfer available funds from a linked account, up to a maximum of six times per month.

The Axos Rewards Checking account’s other standout features include:

  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement
  • No overdraft or NSF fees plus overdraft protection

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Axos Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

SoFi Money

SoFi may be better known for its personal loan products, but its SoFi Money cash management account offers a great free checking experience. This account earns a decent 1.10% APY with fees and no minimum balance requirements. SoFi charges no ATM fees of its own, and it will reimburse you for any third-party ATM fees you are charged anywhere in the world. If you need physical checks, you can request them from SoFI.

SoFi partners with multiple banks to hold your money in FDIC-insured accounts. This means that SoFi Money accounts are FDIC insured on balances up to $1.5 million in total, well above the standard $250,000 FDIC insurance level available with conventional accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on SoFi’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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38% of Investors Are Worried They’ll Lose Retirement Savings Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brings the world to a screeching halt, one of its many detrimental effects is its impact on the stock market. With businesses shuttering, unemployment spiking and economic fears rising, the stock market has been hit hard, with multiple indexes plunging to new, multi-year lows in March.

Such a significant decline has taken a toll on individual investors, too. According to a new survey of over 1,000 respondents by MagnifyMoney, 38% of investors fear they’ll lose all of their retirement savings due to the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. Already, the coronavirus outbreak has caused investors to lose money and alter their investing behavior, our survey found.

Key findings

  • Our survey found that 38% of investors are worried they’ll lose all of their retirement savings because of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • About 59% of investors said they’ve already lost money from investments during the pandemic (this does not include the 26% of respondents who weren’t sure if they had lost money).
  • The majority of the investors surveyed (39%) said they’re avoiding looking at their investment portfolio amid the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, 26% said they are “constantly” checking their investments.
  • Roughly 45% of surveyed investors said they had made changes to their portfolio in the last two weeks, as the coronavirus spread throughout the U.S. and across the world.
  • More than 1 in 10 investors said they’ll never feel comfortable with the stock market again, though 29% said they still feel comfortable. Other investors said they’d need to see some positive signs before they felt comfortable again.
  • When asked how the coronavirus will affect their future investing decisions, 55% of investors said it would impact them in some way (this percentage does not include the 13% who weren’t sure). Most notably, 29% will decrease their level of risk, 23% will make sure they have plenty of money outside the market and 21% will further diversify their portfolio.
  • Still, the vast majority of investors (78%) are confident the stock market will recover from the decline associated with the coronavirus. Only 8% don’t think the stock market will recover in their lifetime.

How much investors have lost amid the coronavirus pandemic

With markets swinging wildly and diving to new lows, investors have understandably lost money in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, our survey reveals that the majority of investors (59%) have lost money — a figure that did not include the 26% of investors who were not sure if they had.

The bulk of investors who have lost money during the coronavirus outbreak, though, have lost less than $50,000, with 26% saying they lost less than $10,000, 12% saying they lost between $10,000 and $24,999 and 8% saying they lost between $25,000 and $49,999. However, some investors are reporting hefty losses, with 4% losing between $50,000 and $74,999 and 10% losing a staggering $75,000 or more. Meanwhile, our survey found that 15% of investors haven’t lost any money and 26% don’t know how much they have lost.

What’s arguably more alarming, though, is the sheer amount of investors (38%) who said they fear they have lost all of their retirement savings as fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the markets. While that percentage was fairly consistent across generations, it was highest among those in Generation Z. Nearly half (47%) of Gen Z worried their retirement savings would be completely wiped out, compared to 40% of millennials, 45% of Gen Xers and 30% of baby boomers.

One potential reason for the gap in concern between Gen Zers and baby boomers is that younger generations likely have far smaller nest eggs than their boomer counterparts, meaning it wouldn’t take as much market volatility to wipe out their retirement savings.

How the coronavirus pandemic is impacting investor behavior

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the economy, our survey found that many investors (39%) are choosing to avoid checking their portfolios altogether. Meanwhile, 35% of respondents said they are looking at their portfolios occasionally, while 26% said they are checking in constantly.

Of those who are shielding themselves from watching their portfolios plummet, many are baby boomers. Our survey revealed that almost half of baby boomers (48%) are steering clear of checking their portfolio right now, compared to 37% of Gen Xers, 35% of millennials and 27% of Gen Z.

Despite the fact that many investors are opting against looking at their portfolios during this turbulent time, some are still making changes to their investing behavior in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Our survey found that while the majority of investors (55%) have not made any changes in the last two weeks, 19% have taken some money out of the stock market, 18% have reduced their level of risk, 9% have changed the type of stocks they’re investing in and a surprising 8% have taken all of their money out of the stock market.

How the coronavirus pandemic will influence future investing decisions

Stock market ups and downs are par for the course when it comes to investing, and our survey suggests that even the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the stock market isn’t enough to have a lasting effect on the confidence of many investors. In fact, we found that the majority of investors (78%) think that the stock market will recover from the drop associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, 8% of investors said they don’t think the stock market will ever recover in their lifetime, while 15% investors said they didn’t know if it would. It’s worth highlighting, too, that Gen Zers were far more likely (18%) than any other generation to not have faith that the stock market will make a recovery in their lifetime.

While we did find that most investors are confident that the market will recover from the drop associated with the pandemic, that confidence doesn’t necessarily translate to comfort. In fact, our survey found that 11% of respondents said they will never again feel comfortable with the stock market, which could impact how — and whether — they invest again in the future.

Meanwhile, 29% of investors said they still feel comfortable with the stock market during these turbulent times, though most investors said they’d need to see the following major changes to feel comfortable again:

  • 32% said that the Dow Jones would need to show positive growth
  • 29% said that the number of COVID-19 cases would need to significantly decrease
  • 20% said that news coverage of the stock market would need to turn more positive
  • 19% said the government would need to inject a stimulus into the stock market
  • 10% said they would need their financial advisor to tell them it’s okay

Aside from rattling investor confidence, our survey reveals the coronavirus outbreak could have lingering effects on investor behavior in the future. Only 32% of investors said their future investing decisions won’t be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, 29% said it will cause them to decrease their level of risk, 23% said that it would cause them to make sure they have enough money outside of the stock market and 21% said it will cause them to diversify their portfolio more. A striking 4% said they may not invest anymore.

What you should do when the stock market is dropping

When the stock market is taking multiple nose-dives as it has been recently, it’s understandable to feel uneasy. It’s important to remember, though, that investing is a critical component of building a healthy financial life, and stock market declines are par for the course.

In fact, market corrections — which is when the stock market drops 10% or more from its most recent high — happen every few years. Factoring in all corrections, the S&P 500 still has an average annual rate of return of around 10% over the longer term.

During times of turbulence, money moves you can make include:

  • Keeping your emotions in check when looking at your investment portfolio
  • Avoid pulling your money out of a declining market on impulse
  • Making sure you have a solid emergency fund in a liquid savings account
  • Considering a more conservative portfolio allocation if you’re closer to retirement and therefore have a shorter timeline

Methodology

MagnifyMoney conducted an online survey of 1,010 investors, with the sample base proportioned to represent the overall population. We defined generations as the following ages in 2020:

  • Gen Z are ages 18 to 23
  • Millennials are ages 24 to 39
  • Gen X are ages 40 to 54
  • Baby boomers are ages 55 to 74
  • Silent generation are age 75 and older

The survey was fielded through Qualtrics from March 18-19, 2020.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.