Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: August 4, 2019 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Real estate topped the charts as the favorite investment among Americans.

Thirty-one percent of respondents in a recent Bankrate survey said real estate is the best long-term investment for money they wouldn’t need for at least a decade. This is the highest percentage real estate has earned in the study since its inception seven years ago. Stocks were the second most popular option, after being first last year. In 2019, they scored 20% of votes from people for long-term investments.

The third most popular long-term investment was cash investments, which includes savings accounts and CDs, at 19 percent, followed by gold and other precious metals, which earned 11 percent. Rounding out the list were bonds at 7 percent, followed by bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies.

Real estate was the most popular long-term investment option across all generations, but especially millennials at 36%, followed by Generation X at 31%, baby boomers at 30% and the silent generation at 23%. Most generations had similar investment ideas, but millennials are, not surprisingly, more apt to pick cryptocurrency as an investment office compared to other generations.

“Millennials are higher on real estate than any other age group, have cooled a bit on cash, and still aren’t keen on the stock market when investing for more than ten years,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst.

Real estate was also the top preference across all salary categories, whether people earned $30,000 a year or more than $75,000. Those with higher salaries were more likely to pick stocks after real estate, while those with lower incomes were more likely to pick cash investments or gold after real estate.