U.S. Stock Ownership Hits Another New Low, Gallup Reports

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The U.S. stock market has never been higher, at least in nominal terms: The Dow Jones Industrial Average is above 15,000, though its inflation-adjusted apex has yet to be reached. (Jeff Cox of CNBC pegs it at 15,731.54.) And the S&P 500 continues to set new records as well.

At the same time, U.S. wages are stagnant, and interest rates for bank accounts are near zero. Americans, in other words, could really use the income provided by stocks.

Unfortunately, according to new research by Gallup, U.S. stock ownership is at a record low:

Just over half of Americans, 52%, now say they personally, or jointly with a spouse, own stock outright or as part of a mutual fund or self-directed retirement account.

Gallup conducted its annual Economy and Finance survey from April 4-14, and found that, for the fifth year in a row, fewer than 60 percent of Americans own stocks. Moreover, the percentage who do has been generally decreasing since 2007, the year the recession began, and now stands at its lowest point since Gallup began tracking it in 1998.

Gallup's Lydia Saad suggests that the level of stock market participation is linked to unemployment: "Americans' ownership of stock may, in fact, be more a function of their ability to buy it, than of whether its value is soaring." Unemployment currently stands at 7.5 percent, which represents improvement but is still above the rate generally considered healthy (5 to 6 percent).

So who's being left out of the rally? Those under 30 aren't profiting, nor are households making less than $30,000. No surprises there. But the steepest drops in stock ownership since April 2008, when the rate of overall investment in the market was 10 points higher, have been among 30-49 year-olds (down 14 percent) and middle-income earners (down 16 percent) -- "the groups for whom stock ownership five years ago may have been the biggest financial stretch," in Gallup's words.

For the survey's complete findings, head over to Gallup.

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Jeanne

YOU KNOW, YOU'ALL COMPLAIN ABOUT OBAMA AND DON'T SAY A SINGLE THING ABOUT CONGRESS. THE PRESIDENT CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITHOUT CONGRESS, AND WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN-----WORKING HARD TO OBSTRUCT ANYTHING THE PRESIDENT TRY'S TO PASS AND TRYING TO PUT US BACK TO THE 1950'S WITH THEIR POLICIES. SO BUT THE BLAME WHEN IT RIGHFULLY BELONG'S AND QUIT PUTTING EVERTHING ON THE PRESIDENT.

May 09 2013 at 4:46 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
bayconnect

So conservatives still believe in Gallup? Ha, Ha, Ha!

May 09 2013 at 2:19 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Charle

The rich got richer during Obama's first term . Then spent the money on trying to defeat him. And lost that bet. Now the rich are getting richer again during his second term.

May 09 2013 at 1:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
koos458

We live in a kleptocracy.

May 09 2013 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YourFtr

So; basically all the Libeal Demoncrat fluff about the market being high; doesn't really mean anything to many US citizens because Obama hasn't been working on JOBS for five years, so they could afford stocks.

May 09 2013 at 12:27 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
merstockgto

You are so right. I have been investing in the market for 33 years and have done very well. Only had about $1000 when I started. The person that lost half of his 40k must have invested in the wrong mutual fds, etc. I am now retired.

May 08 2013 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
petrheadshrinker

Funny, American stock market up, American ownership down. Go figure.

May 08 2013 at 10:13 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
rich_paddlyrich

The 9 most insane laws proposed by extremist Republicans
A Missouri Democrat filed a bill last week that would make it a crime to propose No Rights At Work legislation.

Rep. Jeff Roorda wasn't really serious. He was responding to a bill filed by Republican state Rep. Mike Leara that would make it a crime to propose legislation to restrict gun ownership.

The Republican was probably serious given the long list of loony bills the GOP is promoting these days (many with the help of ALEC, the billionaire-backed dating service for state lawmakers and corporations).

The following proposals should make your head spin:

May 08 2013 at 9:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rich_paddlyrich's comment
rich_paddlyrich

1. Ban paid overtime in the United States: U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wants to get rid of paid overtime. Reports DailyKos, In Eric Cantor's February 2013 speech, he said he wanted to propose Federal Law that would end overtime pay for hourly workers.

The house republicans voted on it today.

May 08 2013 at 9:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to rich_paddlyrich's comment
rich_paddlyrich

Bush will go down in history as the most laziest president. He spent more time at his ranch then he did in the White House.

May 08 2013 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rich_paddlyrich

It's obvious the republicans don't know how to think they lost the 2008 presidential elections and the 2012 presidential elections.

May 08 2013 at 8:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply