Survey: Real Estate still the Top Investment Option

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It’s not a shock at all. Real estate is the most popular investment choice among investors, according to a latest Gallup poll.

More than 35% of Americans chose real estate, as compared to just 22% for stocks and mutual funds. Just 17% of Americans chose gold. Another 15% chose savings accounts and CDs, and only 7% chose bonds.

In a Bankrate survey, 25% of Americans chose real estate again. About 23% chose savings accounts and CDs. Another 16% chose precious metals and stocks.

And to be perfectly honest, I’m not surprised.

We’ve been pounding the table, suggesting that you invest in real estate for quite some time. “Both the housing market and the stock market have recovered from catastrophic losses suffered in the last decade,” said Gallup, “with average house prices and the Dow well above their pre-crash high marks.

“But Americans have been much more likely to regain confidence in real estate than in stocks as ‘the best’ long-term place to invest their money. The split between the two investment options grew again in the last year as the stock market's volatility increased investors' concerns.”

In spite of making big gains after the crash of 2008, stocks and mutual funds have struggled to gain favor in the public for several reasons.

One, while real estate does carry risk, it is still a better alternative to stocks and bonds. Predictable cash flow, market transparency, and lower risk make real estate a safer investment that other assets.

Two, real estate is a tangible asset that offers much more peace of mind than the intangible nature of a stock, or a bond. Three, if the value of your home rises, you get an immediate benefit of added equity. You can also live in or rent your home, unlike a stock. And four, real estate offers an opportunity for investors to make a leveraged investment.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that more Americans find real estate to be an attractive investment and something they should think seriously about when rounding out their portfolio.