Behavioral insights

Vanguard investors stay the course, even amid their flagging expectations

July 28, 2022

Bimonthly survey results and U.S. self-directed household monthly trading

Expectations are subdued for the short term, more robust for the longer term

A line chart comparing investor expectations for stock market performance one- and 10-years out, from 2017 through 2022. The 10-year expected return remains fairly consistent above the 5% point but not approaching the 10% point. The 1-year expectation starts around 5% in 2017, rises and falls throughout the period, and then falls to close to 1% as the line approaches and passes the year 2022. Below that chart is an additional line chart, which displays the probability of a stock market disaster, as defined as a drop of 30% or more. The line peaks somewhat in 2022, then returns to baseline before starting to climb again in 2022.
Lowest expectations yet for one-year stock market performance

Traders ride the volatility wave and maintain course

A bar chart displaying the percentage of Vanguard self-directed 401(k) participants and retail households trading monthly, listed monthly from 2017 through June 2022. The percentage of households trading over time has remained fairly consistent, even during times of market turbulence, like during the past few months.
Expectations for a market crash rose
Expectations for three-year GDP growth dropped

Investor expectations take a hit on economic growth

A line chart displaying Vanguard investor expectations for GDP growth, shown bimonthly, from 2017 through June 2022. GDP expectations started around 3% in 2017, remained fairly steady until a dip in early 2020, and then climbed before displaying a more significant decline in mid-2022.
No action is often the best course of action


Xiao Xu, Ph.D.
Jean Young
Vanguard Information and Insights

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