Americans are feeling better about their money today than a decade ago -- but there's a catch

  • Americans are feeling better about their investments today than 10 years ago, according to a new survey.
  • Americans’ optimism comes at at time when the US economy continues to grow and stocks continue to soar.
  • But the economy and stocks (probably) won’t be expanding forever.

Americans are feeling better about investing today than a decade ago.

Respondents to a new survey by Merrill Edge said they were feeling more optimistic about their investment habits than they were 10 years ago at the start of the Great Recession.

The survey also found that 48% of Americans feel more successful, 45% feel more confident, and 42% said they were feeling more proactive about their investments.

Taking it a step further, 96% of respondents said they think success is attainable, with 52% considering themselves successful already, and 44% thinking they will be in the future.

Americans’ investment confidence comes as the US economy continues to expand and the stock market continues to reach new highs.

The US is currently in the middle of one of the largest bull markets in American history, but the economy will not expand forever and the stock market will eventually start to rumble. Some experts have already started to wonder how long stocks will keep climbing.

Plus, the Trump administration is poised to roll out major changes to tax policy and the Federal Reserve is prepping for a leadership shuffle. And no one can predict how all of that will play out in the US economy and stock market.

But even if markets start to slip, Americans should try to keep from getting swayed by the negative emotion of the crowd, and should try to remain optimistic.

Or as billionaire investor Warren Buffett once put it: “Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”

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