Americans are putting 80 percent of their discretionary investment money into long-term investments, according to a research report by the Forum for Investor Advice of Bethesda, Md. released Oct. 23.

According to the report, "Investor Perspectives on Investment Time Horizons," investors define long-term as 14.8 years on average for both individual stocks and mutual funds. Investors define short term as 3.7 years on average for individual stocks and 4.8 years for mutual funds, the report said. Forty-five percent of investors want at least part of those short-term investments to go towards retirement, the report said. Forty-nine percent of investors say their short-term investments are for emergencies, and 35.5 percent earmark these funds to finance children's or grandchildren's education, according to the report.

The data was compiled from surveys of 1,000 households, the Forum said.

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