Dysfunction on Capitol Hill Tops Investor Worries for 2012

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With 44.45 percent of the vote, dysfunctional politics beat out the national debt (24.38 percent) and unemployment (14.4 percent) as the issue weighing the heaviest on investors’ minds in the New Year, according to a new survey by The Motley Fool.

The Motley Fool Survey on Investor Outlook for 2012

Even though the economy is on the right track, there is a real possibility in investors' minds that lawmakers can derail the recovery.

Continued gridlock and infighting on Capitol Hill tops the list of individual investor’s biggest concerns for the economy in 2012, according to a new survey by The Motley Fool — an online community at http://www.fool.com with a purpose to help the world invest better.

With 44.45 percent of the vote, dysfunctional politics beat out the national debt (24.38 percent) and unemployment (14.4 percent) as the issue weighing the heaviest on investors’ minds in the New Year.

Additionally, 69.9 percent of individual investors blame uncertainty caused by Washington for holding the economy back. Respondents also pointed to deficit spending (47.7 percent), corporate greed (34.16 percent) and excessive regulation (33.68 percent) as key factors keeping the economy from improving.

Although recent indicators such as the declining unemployment rate hint that the economy is improving, 79.58 percent of investors say they have the same level or even less confidence in the economy than a year ago.

Morgan Housel, macroeconomics analyst with The Motley Fool said, “Even though the economy is on the right track, there is a real possibility in investors' minds that lawmakers can derail the recovery. The good news is that, while it may be politics as usual on Capitol Hill, it’s business as usual for savvy investors. You can still find great companies to invest in that will deliver strong returns long after this unpopular Congress has served its term.”

Survey results are based on 1,670 respondents culled from The Motley Fool’s online community of individual investors on December 12, 2011. The results reflect the opinion of more than 5 million retail investors in the U.S. that turn to The Motley Fool for investing advice every month.

About The Motley Fool: Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to helping the world invest better. Every month, 5 million savvy investors rely on The Motley Fool’s expertise and guidance through Fool.com, The Motley Fool book series, newspaper column, subscription investment advisory services and media appearances.

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Alison Southwick
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