NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A People's Capitalism

October 25, 1999

Almost one in every two households owned equities as of early 1999, according to a survey by the Investment Company Institute and the Securities Industry Association. The growth in households holding equities has been steady during the 1990s and the trend shows no sign of letting up as we enter the 21st century, analysts report.

  • An estimated 78.7 million Americans representing 48.2 percent of households owned securities this year.
  • That's up from just 19 percent of households, or 42.4 million individuals in 1983 -- an 86 percent surge.
  • The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indices each gained more than 900 percent between 1980 and 1999.
  • Currently, baby boomers put 57 percent of their household financial assets in equities.

Two-thirds of the nearly 45,000 households responding to the poll listed retirement as a primary financial goal.

Some 96 percent of respondents consider their stocks long-term investments and 87 percent said their investment philosophy is strictly buy-and-hold. Eighty-three percent said they were not concerned with short-term market fluctuations. Fifty-five percent of them didn't conduct a trade in 1998.

Source: Jim Christie, "Nearly 79 Million Stock Owners; Retirement on Investors' Minds," Investor's Business Daily, October 25, 1999.


Browse more articles on Economic Issues