Vanguard’s investor behavior research team has been collecting Vanguard investor expectations on U.S. stock market returns and U.S. GDP growth since February 2017. The survey runs bimonthly, in February, April, June, August, October, and December. A special survey was conducted in March 2020 during the pandemic-induced market crash.
This survey poses 13 brief questions about U.S. stock market and economic growth expectations to a random sample of 2,000 Vanguard personal and 401(k) investors. It is conducted in partnership with academic researchers Stefano Giglio of the Yale School of Management, Matteo Maggiori of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Johannes Stroebel of the New York University Stern School of Business.
The survey respondents are a random sample of U.S.-based Vanguard investors invited by email to participate. About 80% of the sample is drawn from our personal investor clients and about 20% from participants in employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement plans. To be included, investors also must have opted in to receive Vanguard statements by email, be over age 21, and have total Vanguard assets of at least $10,000. Overall, this sample group holds about $2 trillion in assets at Vanguard. We receive about 2,000 responses from investors in each period the survey is conducted.
The responses may be of use to advisors, plan sponsors, researchers, and other investors wishing to gauge current sentiment among individual households and calibrate what a client thinks compared with the market.