65 percent of Americans reluctant to invest in oil stocks; women, young people and Hispanics even less inclined, a new survey shows.
Whether it is a direct result of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, growing concern about the link between burning fossil fuels and global warming, or a general uneasiness about year after year of record profits being made by big oil companies, a new study finds Americans are increasingly reluctant to invest in oil stocks.
Commissioned by the investment firm, Edward Jones, the study of 1,009 adults found that a sizable 65 percent majority of Americans are reluctant to invest in oil company stocks.
An interesting disparity in gender emerged as an overwhelming 71 percent of women compared to 58 percent of men say they would not choose oil company stocks if they had money to invest.
Conducted between July 22 and July 25 by the Opinion Research Corporation for Edward Jones, the survey found that age also played a significant role in whether an individual showed support for investing in oil. 41 percent of Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 are the most likely of all the age groups sampled.
Young people, those between the ages of 18 and 34 are the least likely to invest in oil company stocks. Nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) between the ages of 18 and 34 say they would not invest in oil stocks.
Americans in the highest income brackets are slightly more inclined to put money in oil company stocks than lower earners. Forty percent of respondents with an annual income between $75,000 -- $100,000 and 44 percent of those making more than $100,000 responded they would invest in oil stocks.
The survey showed little difference in opinion based on education levels, household size and geographic distribution. Also, race did not appear to have a statistically significant influence, although Hispanics responded most reluctantly toward investing in oil stocks.
Many unaware of their existing oil investments
It should be noted that despite many Americans' apparent unwillingness to invest in oil stocks, the overwhelming majority of people who have any kind of IRA, 401k, mutual fund or retirement plant have money tied up in oil and gas investments, they just aren't aware of it.
If you're not sure how your portfolio stacks up, talk to your financial adviser or company 401k administrator and see exactly where your money is going. Don't like what you see? Consider retooling your portfolio to reflect your desire to get out of oil, or any other sector you may have misgivings about supporting financially. Better yet, have all the work done for you and look into socially and/or environmentally-conscious mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Granted, even these can have some oil and gas investments so read carefully or be explicit with your adviser about what you are looking for and your guidelines for investing responsibly.
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