Monday, November 6, 2017

The "Wealthy" Own Majority of Stocks

As the stock market continues to hit new highs it might be a shock to hear how few Americans actually own stock.  According to a detailed study of stock ownership by New York University economist Edward Wolff, 84% of stocks available in the United States are owned by just the top 10% most-wealthy households.  Furthermore, more than 93% of all stock is owned by just the top 20% of households.  That means that the bottom 80% of households in the United States only own about 7% of the total stock market.  And, he notes, his research includes everything, direct ownership of stocks and indirect ownership through mutual funds, trusts, IRA’s, Keogh plans, and other retirement accounts.  Put bluntly, the policies of the Fed and the government that set the stage for the current long bull market greatly favored the rich, and they indeed got very much richer.

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