Investors are still holding large positions in cash amid the continued volatility in the stock market since they remain uncertain about the outlook of the economy.
After being spooked by the markets this year -- evinced by the 21 times the Dow gained or lost 200 or more points through March 1 compared to only nine in 2015 -- investors are finding a large cash reserve to be a reassuring cushion.
A report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management in 2015 cites the total cash held by high net households or those who have $1 million or more investable assets in North America as $3.8 trillion. Out of that total, $3 trillion to 3.5 trillion of those assets are estimated to be in the U.S., said Gary Zimmerman, CEO of MaxMyInterest, a New York-based company that maximizes cash balances for savers.
One reason cash remains popular among all age groups is because the sentiment of the economy, job growth and markets is viewed unfavorably. Data on the amount of cash that consumers keep in checking or savings accounts or CDs are not tracked.
“Cash is still a favored asset for investors, because frankly, people are nervous about the economy,” said Sean Stein Smith, a CPA in Hackensack, N.J.
Even wealthy people are allocating large sums of their assets in cash, with 23.7% of high net worth people keeping their portfolios in cash in 2015, according to the report.