A Look at Investor Households in America

By Fall 2015 Student Intern, Jason Robinson

In 2012 the FINRA Investor Education Foundation funded a survey of the investing knowledge and habits of adults ages 18 and up. 25,509 adults were sampled. The results were then interpreted by grouping the data into households in America. Further the analysis looked at the relationship between investing habits and other factors like race, ethnicity, financial IQ, etc.

One of the fundamental differences between households is the type of investment or investments owned. The study broke this question down by taxable investment accounts like stocks, bonds or mutual funds; retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA; and no accounts. The results are pictured below:

Figure 1

Household income is one factor the separates investor status in America. For example, 34 perfect of households with taxable income of $100,000 or more owned taxable investments, whereas only 3 percent of this subset held no investment accounts. Households that owned taxable accounts tend to be older, white, and college educated.

If you break investment status down by race the study reveals that 36 percent of white households own taxable investment accounts, 25 percent for Hispanic households, and 22 percent for black households. Only 15 percent of households headed by single women with dependents own taxable investments. Click here to read more from FINRA News coverage of the FINRA Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study. Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I delve deeper into the study.