Valenti Hanley PLLC

How many U.S. residents invest in the stock market?

You hear a lot about the stock market on the news or when you bring up financial topics like estate planning, retirement planning or just increasing your personal wealth. But have you ever wondered, for all of the people who seem to have a lot of opinions about investing, how many of them are actually putting their money into stocks?

It's a good question, and it appears that about 52% of Americans own stock at this time. Some financial experts are surprised it is not higher, considering the way that the stock market has been soaring since the drop in 2009. Those who invested then have made some serious money, but it's still just barely over half of the people in the country.

It's also interesting to look at how much people hold. If you look at the wealthiest 10% of people in America, their holdings average out to just under a million dollars each -- technically, $969,000. Some have far more, of course, but that average still paints a clear picture of the type of investing the wealthiest families are doing.

The 40% of Americans below that hold an average of $132,000 each. That's a large drop, but it's also a significantly larger sample size. Beyond that, the lowest 50% of people in total wealth have an average of $54,000 in investments.

What you can really see is that any fraud, negligence or illegal action that impacts investors could have a drastic impact on any wealth group. Even the lowest 50% are still talking about having $54,000 on the line, which could be a massive loss and may consume most of their life savings. If you find yourself in a situation like that, make sure you know what legal options you have.

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