Money Talks

Fed-up investors still crave Wall Street's financial advice

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The saying "Put your money where your mouth is" doesn't apply to the American investor. Corporate profits may be on the rise, but investor confidence in the market is not. A poll by Prudential finds that 58% of investors have lost faith in the stock market, while 44% say they never plan to invest in U.S. stocks again.

Yet Americans haven't changed how they invest, pouring $85 billion into mutual funds in this year's first quarter and $700 billion since March 2009, according to fund tracker Morningstar--up 250% and 43%, respectively, since before the financial crisis. That's surprising, considering the pains Americans suffered at the hands of the fund industry in that period. A recent Government Accountability Office study found that those who took brokers' advice on 401(k)s fared worse than those who didn't. And a Fidelity study found 401(k) gains had far more to do with account holders' and employers' contributions than their funds' performance.