Current Issues in Economics and Finance

Stocks in the Household Portfolio: A Look Back at the 1990s

April 2001Volume 7, Number 4
JEL classification: G11, G10

Authors: Joseph Tracy and Henry Schneider

The growing prominence of stocks as a household asset in the 1990s encouraged the view that the United States had become a nation of zealous investors alert to every market development and eager to acquire new stocks. Yet an analysis of the factors behind the rise in the household equity share suggests that exceptionally high returns on stocks—rather than aggressive investment behavior—accounted for much of the increased importance of stocks.

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