A recent Betterment report showed a staggering two-thirds of Americans either think the stock market was flat or even down since 2008 when it is in fact up 200 percent, with the S&P 500 setting an all-time high on Thursday.
The report also showcased how little the vast majority of Americans trust Wall Street, and most people don’t understand what really happened leading into the 2008 market crash:
Most people blame big banks and mortgage lenders (30%) and political leaders and policies in place in 2008 (21%) for the crash. However, there is divergence depending on income level, with higher earners more likely to blame financial institutions and respondents with lower income more likely to blame the government.
Those making $100,000 or more a year:
• 54% blamed big banks and mortgage lenders above all else
• 15% think political leaders are most at fault
Those making $50,000 or less:
• 42% blamed big banks and mortgage lenders above all else
• 22% think political leaders are most at fault
Despite the outrage caused by bank bailouts, Republicans (38 percent) and Democrats (42 percent) mostly agree that the government didn’t do enough to protect consumers. Less than one in six (13 percent) said the government went too far to protect consumers, and just one in five Republicans said the government overreached its boundaries.
According to the report, most people still don’t think Wall Street has cleaned up its act:
• 83% say they don’t think Wall Street is more ethical today than it was in 2008
• 22% say they think Wall Street is less ethical than it was 10 years ago
So what — or rather who — is the lone bright spot for Wall Street in regards to its reputation among would-be investors?
As Wall Street slowly regains its reputation, this influx of young investors may change the future of wealth management. When asked who or what they trust most with keeping their investments and retirement savings safe for the next 10 years, 70% said they trust themselves above all else.
The days of handing over the reigns may be over: only 18% say they trust their financial adviser above all else, and of those that currently invest in the markets, only 40% rely on a traditional financial adviser, instead opting for online financial advising platforms or self-directed platforms.