Are You A Stock Owner?

The Fool needs your help. We need to know if you directly own individual stocks.

It's a seemingly obvious question for a website dedicated to the individual investor, but you might be surprised. Plenty of research suggests that a staggeringly large percentage of eligible investors (Fools, even) never take the plunge and buy shares of individual companies.

Why not go straight to the horse's mouth for the answer?

Who's asking?
I'm a member of the Fool's Customer Experience team and it's my job to understand our customers as well as possible. In this case, I'm attempting to confirm that even on Fool.com, The Motley Fool's flagship website that is effectively dedicated to serving the interests of the individual shareholder, there is a significant population of Fools who do not own stocks directly. We broadly assume that the vast majority of visitors to this site do. But you know what they say about assumptions … 

The end of ownership
Plenty of data indicates that the widespread ownership of stocks by individuals is a concept as quaint as Howdy Doody, I Love Lucy, and Nikita Khrushchev. In fact, today, the typical American no longer directly owns stocks in his or her nation’s companies -- not even one share -- whereas 60 years ago it was the overwhelming norm. Despite that plenty of substantial barriers to stock ownership no longer exist, millions of financially sound, financially literate individuals have decided to avoid it -- and I suspect many millions of Fools are with them.

The average person could get up and running with a brokerage account in a matter of days -- perhaps even sooner. Why then don't more people own stocks? Perhaps it's because the financial markets have grown so unnervingly complex. Perhaps it's because there are many more alternatives than there were decades ago -- many of them designed to eliminate the certain inconveniences associated with owning individual stocks. Perhaps people have that much more strain on their time and can't afford to put in the effort. There are all sorts of plausible reasons.

Whatever the reason, the reality is that in 1950, individual households controlled the value of more than 90% of all public companies in the United States. Think about that for a minute: 90% of the value of our nation's businesses was in the hands of individuals. In 1970, that number fell to 68%; in 1990, 51%; and in 2000, 39%. Today, we're south of 37%.

For better or worse (we'd definitely say for worse), individuals today largely avoid the privilege of identifying, researching, purchasing, and owning America's businesses. Most prefer to leave the work to an intermediary -- a mutual fund, a pension fund, etc. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that the collapse of the individual shareholder population has directly coincided with the epic rise of the financial services industry and all the garbage that has come with it.

This is a very bad thing.

This isn't some kind of binary decision, either. Individuals aren't forced to choose between institutional management and individual stocks exclusively. But the majority do -- and it's pretty bizarre. In 1958, 78% of mutual fund owners also owned stock in companies directly. Today, that number is a mere 43%. Even in IRA accounts (accounts designed to be controlled by the individual), only 37% of account holders choose to buy individual stocks.

Considering what has happened in the economy of late, the re-emergence of an involved, engaged group of individual shareholders is a good thing for a variety of reasons. Americans should take back what is rightfully theirs -- the direct ownership of America's businesses. Why deal with such a powerful middleman all the time? I suspect many of you feel the same way, but many still may not be acting like it. We need to know.

Am I wrong?
Perhaps the vast majority of Fools do own stocks. Perhaps we're just preaching to the choir. But perhaps we're not. Why don't you tell us?

Help us know more about you.

Fool Nick Kapur owns stocks and loves every one of them. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (31) | Recommend This Article (31)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 4:07 PM, WallstreetKnight wrote:

    I've owned stocks since highschool (just graduated from college this summer). I largely have my parents to thank. They aren't the most sophisticated investors but they've always taught me to live below my means.

    Initially I just chose companies that stuck out: MCD, WMT, JNJ - which turned out to be a good thing considering the turbulence we've seen in the last couple of years...

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 4:34 PM, TMFSymington wrote:

    I purchased my first individual stock in June, 2008. I know, right? What a time to begin your investing career! In any case, largely due to the confidence instilled in me by Fool.com, I held onto the position through thick and thin, building it up along with other positions through dollar-cost-averaging as the market crashed. What was the stock? None other than Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (MVL), picked up at an initial price of $36, with larger positions opened around $24 per share. I sold shortly after DIS announced its acquisition, making a pretty penny in the process.

    Currently, I have open positions in NVDA, PANL, TNDM, UA, YUM, TXT, SIRI, MKL and F. I use Fool.com everyday as an idea-generating source of invaluable information!

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 4:39 PM, WallstreetKnight wrote:

    Hmm I have some risky positions as well as 2 of the 3 originals...

    GS, ATPG, ATVI, BP, MCD, WMT

    In descending order in terms of Mktvalue.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 4:48 PM, lemoneater wrote:

    To see the stocks I own in real life go to my caps and check out the green check marks. My biggest position is in ISRG with about $1600 worth; my smallest position is with WAMUQ worth less than $2 last time I looked. I keep my "nano" holding in WAMUQ to remind myself that I can pick a lemon as well as the next person.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 5:13 PM, IIcx wrote:

    Yes and I will buy more long positions when the "public" does their next "Chicken Little" dance routine and drives the value of great company stocks down.

    But, I have a decade before I need to touch the investments. If investors need the money in a shorter time frame they should either day trade (watch your backs) or invest in Stable Growth.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 5:34 PM, IIcx wrote:

    "Whatever the reason, the reality is that in 1950, individual households controlled the value of more than 90% of all public companies in the United States. Think about that for a minute: 90% of the value of our nation's businesses was in the hands of individuals. In 1970, that number fell to 68%; in 1990, 51%; and in 2000, 39%. Today, we're south of 37%."

    "For better or worse (we'd definitely say for worse), individuals today largely avoid the privilege of identifying, researching, purchasing, and owning America's businesses."

    The REASON is taxation/cost of living. In the 1950s we enjoyed a parent (PC substitution for Mother) who was home to greet us at the end of a school day. By the time we hit the 1990's, both parents had to work to pay off all the stupidity we get from Congress.

    The reason individuals are not investing online today is because it's holed up in contributions to 401k plans. Those of us who saw the "great" job they did with our money realized we were the ones who screwed up. They just make the traps, we chose to fall into them.

    Last point is that more would invest if they knew how easy it is to invest your own money. Sadly, most can't balance a check book.

    TMF is a great educational tool if you already know how things work. If TMF wishes to make a change, deliver some coop with K-20 publishers.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 8:18 PM, DennisMack wrote:

    I don't know the figures, but I would not be surprised to learn that a greater number of households owns individual stocks today than in 1950. The difference is that in 1950 only a very small percentage of households owned stock. People with investment savings still had a Depression Era fear of equities. More importantly, very few households had the savings that they could invest. With high fixed commissions, the cost of liquidating was subtantial, and the commissions on mutual funds then were outrageous, 8.75%. There were few funded pension plans. Insurance companies invested in bonds and mortgages. There just were not many purchasers of stocks. Therefore a rather small number of families bought stocks and sat on them for the very long term. Trust companies managed many of the family investments. They received an annual fee. Brokerage commissions were gigantic by today's standards and were fixed. Mutual funds received no advantage because of the volume of their trading. Contrary to what one commenter suggests, taxes then were very high. The investor class was taxed at the 92% rate. That was a disincentive to trading. A wealthy person had to control his trading, something he could not do in a mutual fund. Therefore he bought and held individual stocks and bonds. Look at the volume of stock trading in the 1950's. A day's volume for the market was equivalent to a few minutes of trading today in some stocks today. In the early 1970's, lawyers were lending money to their client brokers to shore up their capital when daily trading volume on the NYSE shot up to three million shares.

    In the 1950's-60's, I went to a comfortable suburban high school where we were taught to run a portfolio of stocks as part of our regular senior year civics class. It was something that we were expected to know. That does not happen today.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 8:41 PM, DennisMack wrote:

    After posting the above, I thought of a test to challenge Nick Kapur's thesis. Looking at American households in the 60-95 percentiles, do more households in that classification own own individual stocks today than households in that classification did in 1950 or 1960? My guess is that few households in that classification owned individual stocks 50-60 years ago and that more do today, although the number is not large. What has changed is that that middle class classification is much more invested today than it was back then and for, ease of investment, it has invested through mutual funds (today with smaller or no loads and lower taxes on trading, distributions and sales). Those same people have benefitted from defined benefit pension plans and defined contribution pension plans which are largely through institutional linvestors, increasing the percentage of equities that must necessarily be held by institutions rather than individuals. In addition, the richest 5% soured on the trust advisor's poor performance investing in corporate bonds and their high commission rates and have themselves turned increasingly to do-it-yourself investing through mutual funds.

    I would love to see more people learn to manage their own portfolio of individual stocks, but investor insecurities are great and many people already have more than one job effectively. They may feel that they do not have the time to manage a portfolio of individual stocks. And they have lost trust in the market, fearing that the Big Boys have stacked the deck against them. Given the work of the underwriters of mortgage backed securities, that fear may be justified.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 10:36 PM, able101 wrote:

    I cannot think of a better way to obtain a "feeling of control" in this crazy out of control world/market in which we find ourselves at the moment than individual stock ownership. It is sad to me that so many people, especially young people view it as a bewildering, complex secret society of high finance. I am constantly proselytizing to the young and ignorant on the benefits of saving and investing. Sadly, it mostly falls on deaf ears. My thanks to the MF community for making it so enjoyable and engaging for me personally.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 10:58 PM, goalie37 wrote:

    My roommate (who is not an individual stock holder) once complained as I watched CNBC, "All they want to do is convince you they're smarter than you are."

    As far as I can tell, the Fool is the only financial media outlet that tries to empower the little guys like us. As long as this remains true, the individual investor will either be scared away or suckered in by the mutual funds.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2010, at 11:53 PM, bigdaddymurph wrote:

    My first stock purchase was a DRIP in my electric utility. I did this for a few years. After I got married, my father-in-law started giving gifts of stock each year to his children, so my wife and I received some XOM, WLA (now PFE), and VZ this way. Being a teacher, I had started a 403B my first few years of teaching, but I disliked the few choices of mutual funds and lack of control I felt with it. I stopped funding it and was finally able to roll it over when I switched school systems two years ago. My wife and I started IRAs and have invested in ADP, PIXR, PG, MVL, USB, JPM, MMM, DIS (they gobbled up two of my favorites.) Most are not that sexy, but it has been very rewarding and challenging, but with the help of TMF and other info, I feel like it is well worth it.

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 7:32 AM, cupocoffee wrote:

    I also read FOOL everyday. I own positions in GE, NFG, RPM, XRX, CL, PAYX, VZ, IBM, GLW, VTR, PFE, XOM and SO. Most of these shares have been acquired through some form of direct purchase and I DRIP. My expenses are very low. It has become a terrific hobby with $$$ rewards!

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 8:55 AM, Simbalion200 wrote:

    I have owned stock in several companies over the years. I currently own positions in about six companies. My results on individual company stocks have been mixed, but my overall $$$ results have been good. It is much better than putting your money in a bank.

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 12:29 PM, TMFKris wrote:

    "In the 1950's-60's, I went to a comfortable suburban high school where we were taught to run a portfolio of stocks as part of our regular senior year civics class. It was something that we were expected to know."

    I think that's great. I went to a small, rural high school and don't recall anyone ever mentioning the stock market except in connection with the Great Depression. Schools today have so much to teach children (mandated by the state and federal governments) and teachers take up a lot of slack parents and community members used to take care of, so where can they fit this in?

    Kris -- TMF copyeditor

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 1:19 PM, Foolme2x wrote:

    Maybe it's just that I'm older than most posting here, but I remember when one of Motley Fool's slogans was "Friends don't let friends buy mutual funds!" Of course, the Gardners saw the profit potential and now offer mutual funds as part of the MF product line.

    In any case, I had been skeptical of mutual funds since my dad bought some Omaha Mutual funds in the '60s and finally cashed them for less than his original investment when my parents went to the nursing home in the '80s. I've owned individual stocks since the '60s. Until the end of the '90s, my only mutual fund ownership was due to the "necessity" to do so to get some diversification in my 401K.

    After I retired several years ago, I took the time to make a substantial effort to find some "good" mutual funds. I finally came up with a list of about 40 funds - I bought about 10 of what I thought were the best of them about 8 years ago, but tracked the list daily. Of course, about half of the ones bought turned out to be "duds" and were eventually sold. The same was true of most of the ones I didn't buy, but approximately each year since I've renewed the search to find fund names to buy to replace the ones I've sold and to repopulate the list I track.

    I still have investment in 10 funds, including 4 of the funds I originally bought in '02/'03. Those funds did get hit anywhere from 20 to 40% in the '08-'09 downturn, but have recovered substantially and all are still up 6-10% annualized since purchase. I still have a list of about 50 funds that I track daily, with about a dozen having been added only a few months ago. And of course, some though they may have done fairly well for a few years, are no longer looking so good & wll be dropped at the end of this year. My percentage of "winners" vs "losers" has improved some over the years. At the same time, I should note that my performance "expectation" has been scaled back. When I did the first mutual fund search, my goal was to find funds that would give long term returns comparable to that of my main long term individual stock holding - about 17% annualized (for more than 20 years). Currently, a fund has to have 10 year annualized return of at least 10% to potentially be aded to my tracking list.

    And while I do hold some funds for diversification purposes, my total mix currently is about 60% individual stocks, 20% mutual funds and 20% cash.

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 4:40 PM, TMFEdyboom223 wrote:

    I was extremely fortunate and ran across the Fool at the age of 23. Why didn't I find you sooner? Investing is my #1 hobby, and I owe my inspiration to you. It's only been 3 years, but I can safely say that with no debt, 4 years of maxed out IRA contributions, and some $ in a taxable account that I am richer financially than the vast majority of my friends. I have subscribed to multiple newsletters, and I believe that they are all worth the price in their own way. I've been most satisfied with the recommendations I've received from Rulebreakers and Hidden Gems, the service at Hidden Gems, and I view Options as an eye opening experience in explosive gains. I've done some experimenting with call options in the past couple months, and in those 2 months, my overall gain has been 200%!!! While I know this is rare and shouldn't be expected, I was conservative and am proud of the work that I did.

    I recommend the Fool to all of my friends, but sadly, I have only convinced 1 of my friends to start investing. I hear many excuses.

    "I am only 25. I don't need to save now." "Now is the best time to save."

    "I don't know what to do." "I will help you. You can learn."

    "I don't want to lose money." "Why did you buy that purse for hundreds of dollars?"

    I wish that I could help more of them, but they don't listen. In my opinion, people are just scared. My friends aren't any more scared now than they were 5 years ago before the recent fall. The truth is that they are totally uneducated in this area. Also, the financial media scares them into believing that only the "Pros" have the knowledge to succeed. To my knowledge, this couldn't be further from the truth (with a few notable exceptions). I've been using the Fool to beat the S&P for a little over 3 years now, and I guarantee that I will be a lifelong Fool.

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 11:01 PM, Pr0metheus wrote:

    I think the main reason that most people avoid stocks to begin with is information overload.

    Every night the evening news tells you about what the major stock indices did. Up one day, down the next three, followed by explosive gains two days after that only to fall again because report #2764934985756 came out and boy was it bad. And have you seen the trading floor at the major exchanges? All those traders surrounded by monitors and charts as they look upward at their gods: the scrolling ticker symbols on the digital marquee. And then there's that bell going "ding! ding! ding! ding!" all the time like a train pulling into the station. On top of all of THAT, investors have experienced two major bubble bursts inside of the last decade (I imagine at this point, many former investors have "NEVER AGAIN" branded on their foreheads). Oh, and can you say "flash crash"?

    And good luck getting advice. According to the pros in the media, we're heading for a double dip recession. We're also at the beginning of an enormous bull market. No, wait, the market's gonna be flat so play defense.

    To an outsider looking in, it all looks like a *BLEEP*ing madhouse. Would you want to take your hard-earned money and trust it to a madhouse? Mad Money indeed, Mr. Cramer.

    But to answer your question, Mr. Kapur, I do own positions in individual stocks (check my CAPS). Mainly small caps, because I figure "What the hell? I'm 24 (25 as of last week). I've got decades for the catalysts to play out and the market to come to its senses." So far I'm up 0.73% overall. Make it hurt drill sergeant, make it hurt!

    I remain confident in all of my picks. However, I remain paranoid that I'll miss the next Walmart. So I joined Hidden Gems earlier this year.

    -Bob

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 3:57 AM, wmtworker wrote:

    I've owned stocks of walmart where i work for a few years.Since reading the motley fool i've been wanting to buy other stocks i've been researching.I'm excited about it but want to be cautious.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 7:07 AM, deeedu wrote:

    What's the difference/issue involved? I agree with Nick that the growth of the financial sector/middlemen who skim return-percentages is negative. But I, as an owner of individual stocks as well as mutual funds and ETFs, don't find a significant difference between them in the ownership experience. Yes, I get meaningless proxy statements for my stocks (which I discard) whereas I don't for the other two investment types. But unless one is Buffet or Soros, one has no meaningful input on company policy (living wage for company workers? pollute the environment to enhance profits? kill/injure workers with lax safety policies? etc.). So, Nick, why is ownership of individual stocks better than owning mutual funds or ETFs? Please explain. Thanks in advance.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 7:34 AM, ragedmaximus wrote:

    deeedu ,individual stocks can have a greater return or loss. mutual funds and etfs have yearly fees= the gift that keeps on taking,even in a down market. individual stocks are co's you have liked and researched.mf and etfs you never know what dog they may invest in.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 2:15 PM, harispicks wrote:

    I watched for close to 3 years from 2008 to 2010. Invested in a mututal fund in 2008 just before everything started going south. I counted my lucky stars that I did not invest in 2008 when people saw their money get vapourized. I should have started investing in early 2009 but did not have the nerve. But then finally in April 2010 I thought I had to follow the rule of buy low and sell high. So i started investing in April 2010. Of course the May 6th crash got me a bit frazzled but I help my ground. I believe the most important thing is to TUNE out all the nonense. I love Stock Advisor service and love investing in individual stocks. That mututal fund I invested in; I have never seen it go beyond the price I bought it for. Never once. TRBCX...supposed to be blue-chip. However 60% of my stocks are beating the market even on bad days.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 2:16 PM, harispicks wrote:

    I watched for close to 3 years from 2008 to 2010. Invested in a mututal fund in 2008 just before everything started going south. I counted my lucky stars that I did not invest in stocks in 2008 when people saw their money get vapourized. I should have started investing in early 2009 but did not have the nerve. But then finally in April 2010 I thought I had to follow the rule of buy low and sell high. So i started investing in April 2010. Of course the May 6th crash got me a bit frazzled but I held my ground. I believe the most important thing is to TUNE out all the nonense. I love Stock Advisor service and love investing in individual stocks. That mututal fund I invested in; I have never seen it go beyond the price I bought it for. Never once. TRBCX...supposed to be blue-chip. However 60% of my stocks are beating the market even on bad days.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 3:57 PM, ronb111 wrote:

    Had money in Company retirement plan (1980), left company moved stock to IRA, mostly Mutual funds. In 2008 converted Ira to a trading IRA, started purchasing individual stock in March 2009. BHest performers have been F,BUCY, CSX & SIRI. Have some long shots and a couple of ETFs and a couple of mutuals.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 5:06 PM, sean0sullivan wrote:

    I'm pretty young for an investor (25), but I only got into individual stocks during the bottoms of the recession. I had mostly used by company's 401(k) plan to do my investing, since I wasn't willing to go out and do the research it would take to pick good stocks. I didn't have the time to try to find good companies at great prices, so I just stuck more in my 401(k) and called it good.

    But the downturn was a fantastic, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get some excellent deals on many companies. I didn't have to do much research to know that NKE @40 or CAT @30 were great deals. I only had the money to buy 10-12 shares or so, but the investments have nearly doubled my money already. I only wish I'd have been less conservative and dividend-focused, opting for value plays instead.

    And for all of these investments, I do owe TMF a great deal, since it was your site that encouraged me to be smart about my investments, but also to take risks while I still have decades to learn and recover from them.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2010, at 9:19 PM, guiron wrote:

    My taxable stock portfolio is eight stocks with only one fund among them, a closed-end high yield fund. Everything in my portfolio pays dividends with a focus on high yield, as I buy on value and can pay close enough attention to get out of something quickly if it starts to go bad - I made money on BP and ACAS on yield and got out before the price dropped below my cost basis, and while not ideal I didn't lose money, and most of my profits were only taxed at 15%. I prefer to look for value and yield than to ride a trend with a fund. The good MLPs yield far more than most funds, and many can even be traded on swings. Unfortunately, I don't have a choice in my 401(k) and have to pick from a limited selection of mutual funds, so I only put in enough to get the match.

    CAPS is helpful to be sure, as the sentiment here is more useful than market or analyst sentiment. But it's still possible to be a contrarian in certain cases and get ahead of the CAPS rating, which is more satisfying than following the trend (to me anyway).

  • Report this Comment On July 31, 2010, at 6:30 PM, mark3137 wrote:

    I started investing in 1998 soon after discovering TMF on the internet. I started with an initial investment in an S&P 500 TRoe Price Index fund. then bought a few individual stocks ( CAT, and a few others ) As I remember it now, I was trying to follow the Foolish Four stratigy at the time.

    When the stock market dropped I sold out of those stocks but kept the index fund. There was a time when I stopped adding to my position in the Index fund ( Note I did not sell out of the index fund but I did stop adding new money into it!) and started puting money away in CD's at my local credit union ( This was when the Market was dropping and I could earn 4% or more on CD's each month)

    I also diversifiede into an American intermediate bonds fund as well (This was about the time bonds were doing better than stocks)

    All of these accounts were in Roth IRA Accounts and I was using them in a Long Term Buy and Hold stratigy.

    Last summer I started visiting the MF website again and decided to subscribe to the SA newsletter - My CD's were a series of 36 month CD's with automatic renewal features at what ever the current 36 Month CD rate was. (now I have a number of CD's that use to be earning 3% to 5% and they are now earning 1% to 2 %)

    In 2010 as my CD's come up for Renewal I am Transfering the money into a ING Share Builder Roth IRA Account and have been Buying shares of stock again I started with buying NetFlix and that has been my best investment so far (you can check out my score card for the other investments I have made since.)

    In this I have been a Foolish. investor.

    I have also been pursuing a dollar cost averaging stratigy on a small scale - (proof that I am not all that smart) I invest $80.00 per month in my share builder account in a Best Buy Now stock or a New Recommendation stock - This is my choice and yes it does cost me $4.00 per trade but right now I am still in the Building out my portfilio stage with the goal of eventuly owning about 15 stocks ( I own 3 Core Stocks and about 8 other stocks as well)

    I like David Gardner's results but I like some of Tom Gardner's stock better so I cheat by Holding some of each. Is this for everyone - probably not but so far it works for me ( and if long term I only end up with half of the results Tom gets I am Still Way Better of that I was Before !!)

  • Report this Comment On August 02, 2010, at 12:53 AM, ChrisFs wrote:

    Many people don't have the option of direct stock ownership through their 401k plan. The plans offer only mutual funds and sometimes bad ones.

    People like Burton Malkiel make the statement that it is difficult to out perform the market and that people who do not want to spend the time are better off simply investing in a broad fund or ETF like SPY.

    Certainly this is the case for someone who can only invest in one of two items at a time. ETFs provide a diversification that would otherwise be unachievable.

    Mutual funds and ETF also charge a regular fee, so that they make more money over time for the brokerages than a stock that is bought and held for years at a time.

    I think these are some of the factors that have reduced the amount of people that hold stock.

    On another angle, the regular wage for many strata of Americans has when removing inflation stood still. (This has nothing to with taxes however). So that alone would at the least, not allow for the growth of people owning stock.

  • Report this Comment On August 02, 2010, at 8:27 PM, Mstinterestinman wrote:

    I'm 25 AND have been investing for about a year unfortunately none of my friends get I want to own stock most of them think its like gambling. Unfortunately the brainwashing of the masses b y the media is quite successful at times.

  • Report this Comment On August 02, 2010, at 9:40 PM, thunderboltnova wrote:

    I own stocks in over 500 companies. I'm overweight in health care and dividend stocks as well as comsumer staples. I have found it's best not to sell stocks in good companies even though everyone is telling you to do so. I regret selling MCD, AXP, EMR and BA. Now I can't get back into them since they ran up past my selling point. At the time I sold them, everyone felt these companies were doomed.

  • Report this Comment On August 03, 2010, at 4:36 PM, fridayeyes wrote:

    In my IRA: ABT, JNJ, MO, MSFT, VZ, WMT

    In a taxable acct: BAC, BP*, BRK.B, C, IQN, SIRI*, SVU

    The IRA is largely focused on dividends; the taxable acct is largely focused on growth. BP and SIRI are my speculative, 'fun money' stocks, representing 17% and 2% of the taxable portfolio.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2010, at 4:35 PM, mDuo13 wrote:

    I don't own stocks. I never managed to figure out how to go from "I have some money in a bank account," to "I own stocks."

    After having been reading TMF for a couple months, now, though, I think I'm on the verge of making the jump. It's just that it takes legwork and research, and with my current job, finding the spare time to actually get out and deal with this kind of thing is tough. I want to make sure I'm careful about things like fees causing me to lose value.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1249812, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/21/2014 5:11:18 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement