Brett Arends’s ROI: How America’s retirement readiness is going backward

by | Mar 25, 2023 | Stock Market

Main Street Americans have been bailing out of the stock market for a year, and bonds for even longer, and a new report from Fidelity Investments warns that it’s hurting their long-term retirement prospects. Investors have sold $200 billion worth of stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds since April of 2022, according to the latest data from the fund industry’s trade association, the Investment Company Institute.

That contrasts with a huge $400 billion surge into those stock funds during the boom of 2021 and early into 2022. (The numbers show the public also pulled $200 billion from bond funds during 2022, though they have been buying them again this year, and have pulled $21 billion from “commodity” funds, such as exchange-traded funds that own gold.) As so often, the public is buying stocks high and selling them low—the exact opposite of how you’re supposed to do it. No wonder studies show that over the long-term ordinary investors in the stock market …

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