Where We Stand
Jonathan Clements | October 17, 2020
THIS YEAR’S PANDEMIC has unleashed financial turmoil for many American families, so data from last year might seem irrelevant. Still, there’s one set of 2019 data that deserves our attention—the Federal Reserve’s latest Survey of Consumer Finances, which was released last month. Conducted every three years, the survey is perhaps the most in-depth look we get at the state of America’s personal finances.
For the 2019 survey, 5,783 families (who may be individuals living alone) were interviewed at length about their income, assets and debts, resulting in fascinating insights into how we handle money:
As of 2019, 52.6% of families were invested in the stock market, up from 51.9% three years earlier, but below the 53.2% peak recorded in 2007. The survey’s data show we became a nation of stock market investors during the great 1990s bull market, with the percentage of families invested in the market rising from 31.9% in 1989 to 53% in 2001.
We’ve remained at around that level ever since, despite the brutal bear markets of 2000-02 and 2007-09. Wall Street “professionals” love to heap scorn on everyday investors, and yet it seems American families have defied their churlish critics and prudently stayed the course.
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Source: Where We Stand – HumbleDollar