The gyrations of the stock market during the past few years hardly seem suited to fostering loyalty to one's shares. But as physicists have noticed, inertia is a potent force. Thus, in an AP-GfK poll fielded this month by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, 51 percent of respondents who own stocks, bonds or mutual funds said they made a grand total of zero changes in their holdings in the past 12 months. Just 17 percent said they made three or more changes during that period.
Meanwhile, respondents split about evenly between those who think this is a "good time" (48 percent) or a "bad time" (49 percent) to invest in the stock market. The numbers were more positive with respect to investing in real estate, with 65 percent saying it's a "good time" and 34 percent a "bad time" to do that. Though the real estate market has refused to show much sign of life (while the stock market has recovered considerable ground from its low point last year), the "real" aspect of a house seems to make people more comfortable in putting their money into one.