3 in 4 Americans are worried about making wrong decisions when investing their money

The average American estimates they’ve made four wrong major decisions in their life, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that nearly a third say they’ve made even more (31%).

This may be why 71% wish they had more guidance when it comes to making large life decisions.

From investing (38%) to purchasing a new home (33%) or making a career change (29%), respondents said these are some of the toughest decisions they’ve ever had to make.

Typically, respondents shared they’re more likely to turn to friends/family (54%) or the internet (40%) for advice, as opposed to informational shows (25%) or podcasts (16%). Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Atom Finance, a global investment intelligence platform for enterprises, the survey found that 71% said even when they do their research, they worry about making the wrong decisions.

Money may be on respondents’ minds, with three in four sharing that one of their goals is to educate themselves about important decisions they’ll have to make when it comes to their money (76%).

And when it comes to investing their money, seven in 10 admit they’re intimidated.

When they hear the word investing, respondents said they’re interested (35%) and inspired (27%), but also nervous (27%).

While a fifth of Americans revealed they feel unknowledgeable about investing (21%), more than half believe that they are (57%).

And respondents followed through, with 61% correctly identifying the definition of “asset allocation” and a similar percentage accurately defined what a “bid” is (62%).

However, there’s still more to learn for the 45% who misidentified what a “dividend” is and 43% struggled to name an “ask.”

“Everyone deserves easy access to tools and resources necessary to make well-informed financial decisions,” said Atom Finance founder and CEO Eric Shoykhet. “We’re on a mission to address the information gap we know many people experience when trading stocks and partnering with enterprises of all sizes to deliver engaging and helpful investment intelligence that lead to successful investor outcomes."

Fifty-four percent have already taken a chance and invested their money in stocks before.

Those who haven’t said they’ve tried to grasp investing, but can’t seem to figure it out (50%), or have just put it off for a long time (50%).

Other respondents haven’t invested because they think the market is too risky (57%), or because they don’t know what stocks they should invest in (22%).

For some, it’s even harder than it looks – on average, people who have invested have lost money through an investment four times, and 80% of these respondents said it’s hard for them to trust their own judgement after losing money.

“Individual investors often aren’t sure where to turn for information they can understand, and importantly - trust,” said Wendy Ivanoski, chief operating officer at Atom Finance. “Every business and every vendor wants to build deeper connections with their clients; they want to offer solutions that support confident investing, especially during periods of extreme market volatility. Resources like investment intelligence platforms help solve those problems seamlessly, by putting institutional-grade investment research tools and data in the hands of the investor, for decisions of any size.”


  1. Friends/family – 54%

  2. The internet/research – 40%

  3. Industry professionals – 28%

  4. Informational books – 26%

  5. Informational videos/TV shows – 25%