The young and the riskless

Investors under age 35 are shunning stocks in stunning numbers. Their biggest risk: dying broke.

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Shawn and Asma Lakhani
Shawn and Asma Lakhani
Shawn and Asma Lakhani, 28 and 25, live in Yorba Linda, Calif., with their 3-year-old daughter Safaa.
Portfolio : 85% cash, 15% stocks

Lakhani, a business systems analyst, started investing for retirement as soon as he got his first paycheck five years ago, putting his contributions mainly in international stocks and growth-oriented mutual funds.

But since the crash of 2008, he's gone mostly to cash, despite yields close to zero.

"After seeing how quickly things can change in the market, I've learned to be more defensive," Lakhani says.

Plus, he and his wife Asma, an accounting student, are saving to buy their first home, so they want to keep their down payment money safe. Eventually he'd like to get back into equities, but for now he's standing pat.

"I figure stocks will do better when unemployment comes down and people stop worrying about the economy," says Lakhani. "But for now, I still have no confidence in the market."

NEXT: Tracy and Brandon Baird
Last updated January 03 2011: 4:52 PM ET
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