Our chapter on economic policy discusses stock ownership. The Pew Research Center reports:
The stock market has rallied to record highs in recent weeks, with major indices seeing gains of upward of 15% in the first half of 2013 alone. Yet not all Americans are benefiting from the dramatic rise in stock prices. In fact, most Americans (53%) say they have no money at all invested in the stock market, including retirement accounts, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March.
While most Americans don’t own stocks, market participation varies dramatically across demographic groups, with those at the top of the socio-economic scale most likely to participate.
Broad majorities of those in households earning $75,000 a year or more (80%) and those with a college degree (77%) say they have money invested in the stock market. By contrast, just 15% of those earning less than $30,000 a year and 25% of those with no more than a high school diploma say they have money in the market.
Republicans (55%) are more likely than Democrats (40%) to have money in the markets; 49% of independents say they own stocks.