Stocks have reached new heights lately, but it's been a lonely climb. A host of investors have soured on the market, pulling a net $138 billion out of it since March 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports. That makes it the first time since 1981 that stock investment has decreased at least two years in a row. "I think we've lost another generation," one money manager laments, noting similar behavior following crashes in the 1930s and '70s.
The exit has been softened because 401k plans keep funneling money into the markets. But the two crashes of the last decade drove many long-term investors out of the market, retiring baby boomers are increasingly pulling their money to safer shores, and young investors don't trust it. "I get the reaction, they are a pack of thieves and liars, and you can't trust them," says one manager. "The news flow continues to reinforce it."