Created on Monday, 08 September 2014 12:42
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been floating at or above the 17,000 mark in the past two months – an all time high. There has been a stumble here and a wrinkle there, but even with a weak unemployment report for August, the Dow has remained over 17,000. This compares with a Dow of 13,000 just a year ago (or a 30 percent gain), and is generally seen as a sign of economic progress and of increased wealth.
Who gets the wealth, though? Fifty-two percent of US adults own stock which includes mutual funds, Individual Retirement Accounts, and 401-k accounts down from 65 percent in 2007. The drop in the level of stock holdings can be at least partly attributed to the Great Recession, when high levels of unemployment forced people to go into their savings to survive. Maybe, too, dissolved stock holdings to help them with housing crises and underwater mortgages. For those reasons, and for many others, stock ownership is falling.