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Things You Might Own: Apple Gadgets. Things You Probably Don’t: Apple Stock.

Poll QuestionYou are more likely to own a cat than a share of stock in a company.

This, according to a recent CNNMoney story about Americans’ reluctance to dive into the stock market.

The article uses recent Federal Reserve statistics, which state that less than 14% of families own individual stocks – 13.8% to be exact, down from about 18% pre-recession.

The article then compared that to the number of families that own at least one cat: 30%, according the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Granted, 14% isn’t a tough number to beat. To demonstrate, here are a few other stats about what American families buy and own:

  • 36% own dogs (AVMA)
  • 81% buy organic foods (Organic Trade Association)
  • 51% own an Apple product (CNBC)

And what they spent in 2013, per September’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report on 2013 consumer expenditures:

  • $1,604 on apparel and services
  • $2,482 on entertainment
  • $2,625 on food eaten away from home

But back to individual stocks. Why so low?

“After experiencing severe losses in 2007 and 2008, investors with smaller portfolios have become more cautious,” Lena Haas, senior vice president of retirement, investing and savings at E*Trade Financial, told CNNMoney.

Investors are now “thinking about reaching longer-term financial goals and approaching it in a disciplined way rather than trying to become the best stock picker,” she also says.

And honestly, exercising caution is not such a bad thing.

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Do you own individual stocks?
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  1. Frank said:
    on September 15th at 04:14 pm

    In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 35% of all privately held stock, 64.4% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top ten percent have 81% to 94% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and almost 80% of non-home real estate.