Tags: Stock | ownership | 14-year | low

NYT: American Stock Ownership Hits 14-Year Low

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 01:05 PM

By Dan Weil

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Americans have been burned so badly by the stock market’s weakness and volatility that started with the 2008-09 financial crisis that they’re now staying away from equities in droves.

The portion of Americans with investments in stocks has plummeted to 53 percent in April, the lowest since Gallup began its biannual survey in 1998, The New York Times reports. That compares to 65 percent in 2007, the year the market hit its record highs.

Only 17 percent of respondents in an April Bankrate poll said they were more likely to invest in the stock market, despite interest rates at near-record lows.

Editor's Note: Sept. 18 Cover-Up Is a Final Turning for America

The debacle of the Facebook IPO earlier this month, just makes investors more reluctant to go for stocks.

“This added gasoline to a fire that was already burning,” Craig Ferrantino, president of Craig James Financial Services, tells The Times.

Facebook shares have plunged more than 20 percent from their IPO level of $38.

“I’m just extremely skeptical about the ability of a retail purchaser to be able to play on a level field in the market,” Alex Tsesis, a law professor in Chicago who lost $2,200 on Facebook, tells The Times.

Many experts say individuals are right to be wary of stocks.

Economically sensitive stocks are “breaking down,” Marc Faber, publisher of The Gloom Boom & Doom Report, tells CNBC. "That suggests to me the economy is likely to weaken, and the huge asset run is likely to come to an end.”

Editor's Note: Sept. 18 Cover-Up Is a Final Turning for America


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