Stock Increases Mostly Benefit the Wealthy

According to a poll conducted by Gallup in 2017, only 54 percent of Americans had any money invested in the stock market. In September of 2017, the Federal Reserve said that 51.9 percent of Americans owned stock in 2016. These numbers include investments like 401Ks and IRAs. So, nearly half of all Americans get absolutely no benefit from increases in the stock market.

In 2013, New York University economist Edward N. Wolff found that one percent of Americans owned 38 percent of America’s stock; additionally, the richest 20 percent of Americans owned 92 percent of America’s stock.

On a related note, the Federal Reserve report from September also found that the richest one percent of American’s controlled 38.6 percent of America’s wealth in 2016. On the other hand, 90 percent of Americans controlled only 22.8 percent of America’s wealth. In 1989, the Federal Reserve reported that the bottom 90 percent of Americans controlled about a third of America’s wealth.

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