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More Americans are making financial New Year’s resolutions

Scott Gamm

More Americans are getting serious about financial planning, according to Fidelity Investments’ tenth annual New Year Financial Resolutions Study.

32% of respondents plan to make a financial New Year’s resolution for 2019, compared to 27% last year, the study revealed.

“Last year’s complacency is becoming this year’s determination,” said Ken Hevert, senior vice president of Retirement and Income Solutions at Fidelity Investments on Yahoo Finance’s “Market Movers.”

With the wave of stock market volatility plaguing investors since early October, Hevert warns against trying to time the stock market.

“People who don’t have a [financial] plan are always trying to figure out when to get into the markets,” he said. “It’s very difficult to know when to get in — market returns come in chunks and if you miss those best days in the market, you’re going to forgo returns.”

Silhouette young woman enjoying on the hill and 2019 years while celebrating new year

He said investors who have been planning and are comfortable with their asset allocation are the ones best able to withstand stock market turbulence.

Meanwhile, 87% of respondents said they were in a better financial situation compared to a year ago. And 43% plan to raise their retirement account contributions in 2019 by at least 1% or more.

That’s not to say respondents weren’t guilty of financial mishaps — they were. Some 58% veered off track during 2018 from making these mistakes:

  • Dining out too frequently

  • Spending on an unaffordable purchase

  • Paying for monthly subscriptions they don’t use

  • Paying ATM fees

Scott Gamm is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @ScottGamm.

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