The good news about bad news: 71% of American investors still planning for their future

07 Mar 2023

Investing News and Analysis
Optimism is UP.

A recent survey by Magnifi found some good news: worrying about today isn’t stopping American investors from planning for their future.

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The good news about bad news: 71% of American investors are still planning for their future

It’s early in 2023, yet it feels as if our phones have been blowing up with bad news since one second after midnight. However, a recent survey by Magnifi found some good news: worrying about today isn’t stopping American investors from planning for their future.

The good news first

We all do it. 24/7, our phones ping and we get sucked in. Another wildfire. Toxic politics. Another war. Layoffs. Another racial profiling incident. Being curious about the world is hardwired into us for survival, but obsessively scrolling through bad news can paralyze us with hopelessness or cynicism. Yet, despite relentless, negative coverage in news cycles—and our own doomscrolling—we humans show a surprising resilience, which is good news for our financial well-being.

Wouldn’t all the negativity in the news make you less likely to save for your future?

Well, Americans may stress about everything that’s happening today. But when they answered that question, most Americans (71%) are planning ahead anyway.

Leading the generations in investing are 85% of Baby Boomers. Getting ready to retire or already retiring—and with the lion’s share of the generational wealth (1)—Boomers are focused on their golden years.

The majority of Gen Zers (72%) and Gen Xers (70%) also plan to save for their future. Gen Xers, squeezed between caring for children and elderly parents, are using their earning power to save for retirement. Meanwhile, the oldest of Gen Zers are just at the start of their careers, and they stand to reap the power of compound interest if they stay in the market long-term.

Millennials seem to be facing the most anxiety—on top of their hefty student loans—with only 58% planning to save for their future. Especially as today’s Millennials are nearing their peak earning power, this is a problematic finding.

Now, the bad news

First, a word on investing, an important step in creating financial stability. It can help people get a leg up economically, as reported in Fortune, which cited a survey conducted by Magnifi in 2022 that described the top two reasons people invest: to earn additional income and invest for retirement (2). So it’s worth scrolling through this good news again: nearly 3 out of 4 Americans have a plan and are sticking with it.

Back, unfortunately, to the bad news: 1 in 4 Americans feel there’s no point in saving for a future, or they’re paralyzed with fear and anxiety. They can’t get started investing, or their savings will be eaten up by inflation, or they’ll delay putting their hard-earned cash into the markets only to find that they aren’t prepared for retirement.

Bad news feels inescapable these days, yet it’s worth finding ways to help more investors turn it down or tune it out. For a quarter of the American population, their future is at stake.

Put your own oxygen mask on first

The 71% of investors who absorb relentlessly negative news yet invest in their future can tap into market potential today. It’s the equivalent of putting your own oxygen mask on during an inflight emergency before helping your family. Whether you’re scared on a plane or scared for your nest egg, it takes steely determination not to let fear or hopelessness keep you from your objective—to protect your well-being as well as your loved ones.

Market news is all over the places all over the place

Economic news has been as unpredictable as the stock market. Recession fears dominated the news cycles in 2022, and rising inflation has been making everyone jittery. Some headlines proclaim that a rally in January is cause for optimism, while other news sources predict doom and gloom. For people ready to invest, like the nearly half of Americans putting a portion of their tax refunds into the markets this year, it’s understandable that they’d be, well, freaked out. (And doomscrolling.)

But some long-term strategies still make sense

It’s true that the markets rallied in January, buoyed by a number of factors including cooling inflation, although the numbers were nowhere near the heights of previous years, for some investors, this feels like the moment to put their money into the markets (3). Historically, the stock markets have outpaced inflation in the long run (4), so for them, it makes sense to “buy and hold”—invest over time, weathering volatility to stay the course into retirement.

To make the most of their money, these investors could invest a relatively small amount now to move retirement mountains later with the power of compound interest. Unlike simple interest, which is calculated only on the principal amount they invest, compound interest does more of your cash’s heavy lifting. Compound interest is calculated on the principal and the interest earned on the principal. This holds the potential for a perfect storm of growth, meaning a twenty-something’s small initial investment today could grow into a sizeable fund by the time they retire.

Why isn’t the power of compound interest reported in the news? It is, but it’s drowned out by all the noise. Even when the world is on fire, it’s important to keep the focus on your financial plan—and everything that you need to make it happen. The good news is that nearly 3 in 4 Americans feel they can do this.

The takeaway

For those of us who doomscroll too much, mental health experts recommend stepping away from our phones. Spend more time on meaningful activities, and with people who matter. But—no judgment—it’s hard to put the phone away when you've got your future riding how your portfolio performs. Here are some ways to cut through the noise yet keep tabs on your nest egg whenever you want to—without obsessing.

Make a long-term plan. Set goals to invest a portion of your income each month, or automate your investing.

Don’t be afraid to start small. More and more brokerages or advisors allow investors to start with low fees or no fees. Also, fractional shares allow you to own a piece of a major company, without blowing your budget.

Cut through the noise. Focus on what matters to your financial goals. Turn off news and advice that doesn’t help you meet those goals, and tap into sources of information that give you the confidence you need.

Check out AI. Investing with AI doesn’t have to be with a robo-advisor and a cookie-cutter plan. Learn more about how you can start a retirement plan, stay on top of market trends, and learn strategies with the world's first AI-powered conversational assistant designed for investing.


  1. Cook, Alex, “Millennials’ Net Worth Has Doubled Since Start of Pandemic,” July 25, 2022,
  2. Pino, Ivana, “Over 20% of Americans say they’d need to earn $1 million each year to feel rich—here are a few tips to boost your income,” Fortune Recommends, December 13, 2022,
  3. Rosen, Phil, “Here's why investors should consider putting money in the market now as optimism climbs, according to Vanguard's head of investor research,” Business Insider,Yahoo, January 27, 2023,
  4. Shell, Adam, “Shield Your Portfolio From Inflation,” July 26, 2021,,



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