Retail investors are expecting a roller coaster ride in the stock market over the next few months making it critical to re-evaluate investment strategies and determine goals going forward.

Ninety percent of retail investors foresee market volatility remaining at or above its current level over the next three months, according to a survey by optionsXpress, an options and futures trading technology platform.

Half of respondents believe the Standard & Poor’s 500 will trade at or below its current level for the rest of this year, while over 60% believe trading options will produce a profit in the next six months.

Ten percent of survey respondents expect less volatility in the next three months, 40% expect volatility to remain at its current level, and 50% expect it to be higher.

“In light of the volatility retail investors are expecting, it's important to re-visit strategies and consider expanding portfolios beyond equities,” said David Fisher, the chief executive officer of optionsXpress. “Building options and futures into an overall investment strategy can be a great way to hedge against risk in an unpredictable market and attempt to draw revenue from a market where equities simply don't appear to be generating returns.”

Twenty percent of survey respondents foresee the S&P 500 will trade above 1250 this year, 34% believe it will trade between 1150 and 1250, 19% believe it will trade between 1050 and 1150, and 27% believe it will trade below 1050.

Sixty one percent of those surveyed said options are the best way to profit from the S&P 500 over the next six months, 10% would use S&P E-mini futures, 12% responded they would buy and hold index funds, 10% would trade S&P 500 ETF, and 7% responded the S&P 500 won't have gains during the next six months.

The survey about volatility and the S&P ranges polled 429 retail investors from March 24 to 25, while the survey about profiting from the S&P 500 polled 444 retail investors from April 20 to 21. Both were conducted by optionsXpress as part of a series to assess investor sentiment.


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