As Stock Market Reaches Record Highs, Americans Owning Stock Drops to Record Low

Friday, May 10, 2013

Now seems like a great time to invest in the stock market, which has continued its bullish ways this year. But then why has stock ownership reached a 15-year low?


Gallup’s annual Economy and Finance survey, conducted April 4-14, found that only 52% of Americans currently are playing the market. That’s the lowest rate since at least 1998, when Gallup began tracking stock ownership. Even that figure is deceptive because about half of Americans who do own stock do so only through pension funds, mutual funds and other accounts they don’t control.


Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 15,000 recently, for the first time ever.


Lydia Saad at Gallup says the good times on the stock exchange are just not enticing enough for many Americans, what with unemployment still above 7%—a statistic that doesn’t include those who have given up looking for work after being without a job for so long.


“While soaring stock values may be an incentive to jump back into the market, continued high unemployment appears to be acting as a barrier,” Saad wrote. “Without a job, some Americans may simply be unable to afford stock investments, while others may fear the market is still too risky as long as joblessness remains a national problem.”


The largest decline in stock ownership was a 16 percent drop seen among middle-income Americans earning between $30,000 and $74,999. Stock ownership among middle-aged Americans, between 30 and 64 years old, has also declined significantly, by approximately 10 percent. 

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More

U.S. Stock Ownership Stays at Record Low (by Lydia Saad, Gallup)

Dow Hits 15000, But Percentage of Americans Owning Stocks Hits a Low. Why? (by Mark Trumbull, Christian Science Monitor)

Richest 7% Get Richer; Poorest 93% Get Poorer (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Corporate Profits Soar under Obama (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Stock Market up 68% under Obama (by Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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