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When it comes to building wealth, Americans say one thing and do another.

When asked the best way to build personal wealth, 23% of adults said investing in real estate, according to the recent CNBC Make It: Your Money survey, conducted in partnership with Momentive. That makes it the most popular would-be wealth building method, ahead of investing in stocks (16%), starting your own business (15%) and getting a second job or side hustle (12%).

But that’s not what those looking to increase their wealth actually did this year. In 2022, the No. 1 action Americans took to build wealth, stated by 27% of respondents, was investing in the stock market. Just 12% invested in real estate.

Why real estate is more popular than stocks in theory, but not in practice