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What % of the US population invests in Stock?



February 09, 2012 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: STO , C , KS

I've found a few varying statistics about what % (About 50-60%) of the population invests in the Stock Market (through IRAs, 401k, Mutual Funds, Pensions, etc...)  What I'm curious to know is what % of the population manages their own portfolio of stocks?

Any insight?

My initial guess would be that we are in the 1% ;)


4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM, lemoneater (57.15) wrote:

Good question.

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#2) On February 10, 2012 at 8:29 PM, Mary953 (84.91) wrote:

I am curious as well.  As to the 1%, I define it differently.  A good deal less than 1% of our adult population has any knowledge about putting your money to work for you and only a small group of those people will to take the time to try to learn what they need to know to trade responsibly.  Hats off to the many Fearless Fools who are willing to actually do the difficult work of investigating companies so that they can invest wisely.  You are the .0001% and TMF CAPS is a fantastic forum to bring us all together.

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#3) On February 11, 2012 at 1:43 AM, Melaschasm (69.47) wrote:

Stock ownership/investment heavily dependent upon demographics.

Those over 60 tended to depend more on pensions and paying off a house than stock investing.  For those who went through the great depression, investing in Tbills and FDIC insured CDs was popular because of their risk aversion.

People under thirty tend to accumulate debt, rather than assets.  They pay for education, a first house, a few cars, and various other expenses borrowing against the expectation of higher wages in the future.

People in the 30 to 45 age range remember some of the collapse of the pension systems in the 80's, plus they have heard a debate about the bankruptcy of social security since being adults.  They tend to have 401k plans, with limited mutual fund options.  On average this age group is not investing enough and carrying to much debt.  

People in the 45 to 60 range are the big investors.  They see retirement in the not to distant future, and are often trying to catch up after realizing that they do not have much time to replace their wages with passive income sources.

I am not sure what percentage activily invest in stocks, but I believe this group should include people who are actively investing in mutual funds and ETFs, since those are the best choices for many people.  I would be surprised if the combined total exceeds 10% of the population.  However, part of the population should probably be excluded, such as people under 25, since most are better off focusing on learning a skill that will allow them to earn enough money to be able to invest.

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#4) On February 15, 2012 at 10:59 AM, griderX (97.34) wrote:

I opend my first brokerage account (JB Oxford) when I was 18-19 years old in college...I didn't have enought money to open it myself (didn't meet minimum investment account size $5000) so I opend a (Tenants in Common) account with a good friend of mine who had similar interests in investing.  Sort of a two person investment club...since then I've been hooked and never looked back ;)

Nice breakdown  Melaschasm - I think if we include those type of investments it gets us back to the 50-60% I see published from various media sources.

I think a self managed portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etfs, quite a small population...perhaps more Mary953 suggested well less than 1%.

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