Getting to know you, investor

Jun 5, 2017

A message from BlackRock President Rob Kapito


Investing is as much an emotional pursuit as it is an intellectual one. This concept, as well as our commitment to helping everyday investors reach their financial goals, inspires us to understand what’s on your mind and how it’s affecting your saving and investing behaviors.

In the fifth edition of our Global Investor Pulse Survey, we heard from 28,000 individuals across 18 countries, including more than 4,000 respondents from the U.S. Among other things, we learned that Americans are still focused on retirement even if underprepared for it and have taken steps to put cash to work.

While investors have moved some cash into assets with greater return potential, confidence remains fragile given macro and geopolitical uncertainty. With that said, our findings suggest a broad desire to participate in today’s markets, but also a real need for perspective and insight to help you understand and navigate them with conviction.

Our mission at BlackRock is to offer you that actionable insight, along with the most comprehensive set of investment tools, to help you build a solid foundation for achieving your lifetime financial goals.


As a fiduciary, our clients’ interests always come first. Our Investor Pulse survey ensures we are sharply attuned to those interests and your evolving needs, and our focus on innovation ensures we are on the front foot in helping to address them.

Cash, confidence and mixed emotions

Since August of 2016, the last time we polled investors, cash allocations have dropped 9%, from 67% to 58%. Our results show that improved confidence and a greater understanding of risk just might compel an even greater share of that 58% to be more productively deployed. While most investors say their cash is allocated to immediate needs, we found that roughly 20% of it could potentially be shifted toward investing. And that, we believe, would be a worthwhile endeavor.

Forgoing returns in the interest of “safety” simply won’t deliver the returns you need to achieve your long-term goals. In fact, it would take a U.S. investor 35 years to double his or her money in cash, assuming a long-term expected return of 2%.

Your retirement needs you now

While day-to-day concerns such as the cost of living and health care are significant sources of angst, retirement remains the most important financial issue among Americans surveyed.

Yet, our study revealed that four in 10 Americans have yet to start saving for retirement. Equally notable, and worrisome: More than half think they either aren’t on track to reach their retirement income goals or simply don’t know where they stand. Only 36% of Americans feel confident they will have the income they hope for in retirement.

The numbers make their own argument for putting available cash to work and maintaining a long-term mindset. Markets will undoubtedly rise and fall, but history provides an important lesson in the merits of weathering the course.

My message to investors is this: You can’t invest for the future in the future. Embrace what the markets have to offer; history suggests it will be worth your while.

We invite you to view the full results of our Global Investor Pulse Survey.

Rob Kapito
President and Director of BlackRock.
Robert S. Kapito, President and a Director of BlackRock, is a member of BlackRock's Global Executive Committee and Chairman of the Global Operating Committee.