Americans are Rattled over Recent Market Volatility but Trying to Stay the Course

Quarterly Study from Allianz Life Finds Consumers Fretting over Market Risks to Investments and Retirement Savings

Key Findings Snapshot:

  • 63% of Americans say they are worried a major recession is coming, up from 43% at the end of 2019
  • Over half say it’s a good time to stay neutral and not take any action because of market conditions, up from 36% at the end of 2019
  • Nearly six in 10 (57%) worry that the market hasn’t bottomed out yet

MINNEAPOLIS – Mar. 26, 2020 – With the stock market experiencing some of the biggest swings in history and the bull run officially over, Americans are concerned that the worst is yet to come. But the good news is, they are not panicking quite yet. The latest Quarterly Market Perceptions Study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) finds Americans are worried, but trying to take a calm approach to investing for retirement.

Market crash and recession fears increased significantly from the end of 2019 when worries were at their lowest levels in over a year and half. Now, nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) express concerns about a recession (compared with 43% in Q4 2019). In addition, 57% think that the market hasn’t bottomed out yet.

Despite increased anxiety over market swings, over half (52%) of Americans understand that it’s good time to stay neutral and not take any action because of market conditions.

“Americans who have watched their investments and retirement savings plummet over the past few weeks might be wondering if they should take action to stem the bleeding,” said Kelly LaVigne, vice president of Advanced Markets, Allianz Life. “The good news is that, for the majority, calmer heads prevail, and many seem to understand that they need to take a longer-term view and try to ride it out.”

Consumers have experienced many ups and downs in the market recently, and the number of people who say they are too nervous to invest reflects that, as percentages fluctuate from quarter to quarter. Currently, 41% of consumers say they are too nervous to invest in the market (compared with 35% in Q4 2019).

Impact on Retirement Savings

Interestingly, Americans still seem optimistic about their ability to recover retirement savings after a market decline. Nearly 70% believe that, even if the market continues to decline, they will have time to rebuild their retirement savings.

“Many investors have been through big drops before, and for the most part understand that what goes down almost always goes back up,” said LaVigne. “Hopefully, people have already taken steps to mitigate market risks that could impact retirement before the market plummeted, like diversifying or moving money into protection products.”


Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2020 Q1 Allianz Life Quarterly Market Perceptions Study March 19-22, 2020 with a nationally representative sample of 1,003 respondents age 18+.

Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2019 Q4 Allianz Life Quarterly Market Perceptions Study in November 2019 with a nationally representative sample of 1,005 respondents age 18+.

Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2019 Q3 Allianz Life Quarterly Market Perceptions Study in August 2019 with a nationally representative sample of 1,004 respondents age 18+.

Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2019 Q2 Allianz Life Quarterly Market Perceptions Study in May 2019 with a nationally representative sample of 1,006 respondents age 18+.

Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2019 Q1 Allianz Life Quarterly Market Perceptions Study in March 2019 with a nationally representative sample of 1,005 respondents age 18+.

About Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® and one of the Ethisphere 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies®, has been keeping its promises since 1896 by helping Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuity and life insurance products. In 2019, Allianz Life provided additional value to its policyholders via distributions of more than $10.4 billion. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry with over 147,000 employees in more than 70 countries. Allianz Life is a proud sponsor of Allianz Field® in St. Paul, Minnesota, home of Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United.