May AAII Asset Allocation Survey: Lowest Equity Exposure Since 2020

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Individual investor allocations to equities fell to their lowest level since late 2020 last month. May’s AAII asset allocation survey also shows cash levels reaching their highest level in nearly a year.

Store and equity fund allocations decreased by 2.7 percentage points to 67.1%. This is the lowest equity exposure since November 2020 (63.2%). However, the decline was not small enough to prevent equity allocations from remaining above their historical average of 61.0% for the 24th consecutive month.

Allocations to bonds and bond funds rebounded 1.2 percentage points to 13.8%. Fixed income exposure fluctuated within a 0.4 percentage point range for the fourth consecutive month. Allocations to bonds and funds are also below their historical average of 16.0% for the 15th consecutive month.

Cash allowances increased by 1.5 percentage points to 19.1%. Cash exposure was last higher in July 2020 (19.9%). Even with this increase, May is the 25th consecutive month that cash allowances are below their historical average of 23.0%.

Since the survey is conducted throughout the month, some AAII members responded as the stock market traded at or near its recent lows.

Optimism in our weekly sentiment survey remained at unusually low levels throughout May. Sentiment does not always translate into modified allocations, as many AAII members take a long-term approach to investing.

May AAII Asset Allocation Survey Results:

  • Stocks and equity funds: 67.1%, down 2.7 percentage points
  • Bonds and bond funds: 13.8%, up 1.2 percentage points
  • Cash: 19.1%, up 1.5 percentage points

May AAII Asset Allocation Survey Details:

  • Equities: 31.2%, down 2.0 percentage points
  • Equity funds: 35.9%, down 0.6 percentage points
  • Bonds: 3.0%, up 0.2 percentage point
  • Bond funds: 10.7%, up 0.9 percentage points

Historical averages:

  • Stocks/stock funds: 61.0%
  • Bonds/Bond Funds: 16.0%
  • Cash: 23.0%

The AAII’s Asset Allocation Survey has been conducted monthly since November 1987 and asks AAII members what percentage of their portfolios are allocated to stocks, equity funds, bonds, bond funds and cash. The survey and its results are available online at: https://www.aaii.com/investor-surveys.

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