Many individual investors anticipate a 20% stock market correction this year, a quarterly survey by discount brokerage Quick & Reilly has found.
Released last week, the survey said 73% of retail investors think that big a market correction could occur this year.
Though 41% said they would view a 20% stock market correction as a buying opportunity, 53% said they would sit on the sidelines. Only 4% said they would reduce their equity holdings.
The survey of investor sentiment, which has been done every quarter for six years, is conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide on behalf of Quick & Reilly, a unit of Fleet Financial Group. The research firm contacted 500 active investors-all Quick & Reilly customers-for the survey from July 28 to Aug. 3.
The survey was released Thursday, a day before a particularly volatile day in the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average had an intraday loss of 283 points but regained most of that to close down 77.76, at 8,533.65.
Based on valuations for the Standard & Poor's 500 index, a broad-based stock index of 500 companies, the stock market has corrected by roughly 10% since mid-July.
A Quick & Reilly spokesman said investors' behavior Friday seemed to bear out the survey's findings. Seventy percent were looking to buy, compared with 30% looking to sell, he said. "By our estimation, they weren't panicking."