When the stock market crashed in 1929, it took until the 1950’s for the Dow Jones to return to its former all-time high of 24 years earlier. And it also took until the post-war and post-Depression decade before the average American felt secure enough in the equity markets to begin investing on Wall Street.
Over the past 60 years, both the Federal government, and the brokerage houses made it easier for everyday people to play in the stock markets, until the 2008 crash changed all that when equities declined by over 55%.
Yet unlike the 1987 crash, and the bursting of the Dotcom bubble in 2000, this crash appears to be long lasting as a new gallup poll out shows that only 52% of U.S. adults have ever invested in the markets, and that is the lowest percentage in more than two decades.
The chart below would appear to be in conflict with the results of a recent Gallup poll regarding stock ownership by Americans. The ratio of household equities to money market fund assets is near a record high, 60% above the 2007 high and 30% above the 1999 internet bubble high. The chart would appear to prove irrational exuberance among the general populace.
In reality, the lowest percentage of Americans currently own stock over the last two decades. With the stock market within spitting distance of all-time highs, only 52% of Americans own stock, down from 65% in 2007. As the stock market has gone up, average Americans have left the market. They realize it is a rigged game and they are nothing but muppets to the Wall Street shysters. – The Burning Platform
This leaves the real question then of what Americans are investing in to try to supplement pensions that themselves are in jeopardy of severe cuts, or collapse. For some it is gold and silver, which have seen their largest move up in the past 30 years. But the reality is that most Americans no longer have any discretionary money to invest with, and thanks to Obamacare and inflation, people have little left to invest after paying for healthcare, food, rent, transportation, and taxes.
It is no wonder that some current and former Fed chairman are admitting that their monetary policies are now directed towards propping up Wall Street, and with the statistics above they appear not to include aiding the general economy, nor the majority of Americans. So with few alternatives out there for people to trust, and few investments available that are not manipulated by the private and central banks, data on stock market investment is a microcosm on how underfunded most people are or will be to have a retirement fund ready when they get too old to play the game.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com,Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.