Who Owns The Stock Market?

Many people think of the stock markets as being owned by fat-cat rich people like Mr. Monopoly. I recently ran across an ARTICLE on Business Insider with a great chart showing how much ownership of the $25T US market has changed over the years.

You can see there has been a significant democratization of US equities with a tremendous share of company ownership in employee retirement plans. About 40% of the stock market is owned in some sort of retirement account, up from just a sliver 50 years ago.

In addition to the share held in pensions, IRA & 401K plans, insurance companies also hold a sizable share. Nonprofits (majority of these dollars are college endowments) also have a slice.

One can’t know, but I’m guessing that the taxable investment accounts hold a good deal of individual retirement savings too. We, as a household, have much more of our FIRE nest egg in taxable accounts than in dedicated retirement plans.

I think as we see the market rise we can feel good that the growth is helping people retire (pensions/491K/IRAs), have financial security (insurance) against disaster, and better educate our kids (college endowments).

Image Credit: Pixabay

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