Key Statistics about Stock Ownership
How many Americans own stocks?
According to a recent Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans saying they hold individual stocks, stock mutual funds, or stocks in their 401(k) or IRA fell to 54% in April 2011—the lowest level since Gallup began monitoring stock ownership annually in 1999. Stock ownership peaked in 2002 at 67% and has since been on a steady decline.
How much stock does the average American own?
According to the Federal Reserve's most recent report, the median value of directly held stock in 2009, for families holding any, was approximately $12,000. This represented a decline of 36% from $18,500 reported in 2007 and was largely attributable to the stock market's free fall and the cyclical unemployment that forced households to raid their savings.
Are stocks the investment choice of the wealthy?
While stocks are owned across income levels, 87% of upper-income Americans —those making $75,000 or more annually—reported having stocks as part of their investment portfolio.
Does a person's level education make a difference in their decision to purchase stocks?
The answer appears to be yes with 83% of postgraduates and 73% of college graduates reporting investing in the stock market. These statistics should not be surprising given that income levels for college and postgraduates are generally higher than high school graduates, leading to more disposable income available for investment.
What age group is the most likely to be invested in stocks?
Americans aged 50 to 64 were the most likely to report that they have money invested in the stock market. As expected, this age group has more disposable income, less recurring debt, and an acute interest in owning equities to get themselves ready for retirement.