Who Invests in the Stock Market (By State)?

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Sep 08, 2017
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Stocks, Research, Current Events, Question of the Day, Chart of the Week

Hat tip to Big Picture Blog which had a post from a few St. Louis Fed researchers showing how stock market participation varies by state even when taking into account income levels:

Here's a chart showing how participation levels vary based on income level and highlights the state with the highest participation (Connecticut) and lowest participation levels (Mississippi): 

Questions for students:

  • Average household income in the U.S. is around $50,000. What percentage of individuals at that income level participate in the stock market? 
  • How would you describe the overall relationship between income levels and participation in the stock market?
  • Explain why you think this relationship exists?
  • Even 10-20% of individuals earning under $50,000 are investing in the stock market. How do you think they are able to accomplish this? 
  • Why do you think participation rates for individuals at similar income levels would vary by state?
  • At what income levels does the biggest difference exist between participation levels in Connecticut as compared to Mississippi?

Questions:

  • What is your state's participation rate? 
  • Savings accounts earn less than 1% today while the stock market's historical returns are about 7-8% a year. Why do you think more people have savings accounts than participate in the stock market? 
  • What steps do you think your state could take to increase stock market participation? Be specific with your recommendations. 

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Interested in questions about investing and millennials? Check out this NGPF Question of the Day: What should I invest in as a first-time investor? 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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