During the previous two years, ownership of stocks and bonds among American adults has seen its share of ups and downs. In 2008 and much of 2009, ownership generally declined. But a year and a half after the onset of the economic recession, stock and bond ownership has begun to climb back to pre-recession levels. As of March 8, 2010, 12% of U.S. adults owned common or preferred stock and 11% owned bonds, including municipal, state, and corporate bonds.
Despite such balancing signs, the American consumer continues to exhibit overall risk-averse behavior and mistrust in the financial system. Compared to March 2008, U.S. adults today are 6% more likely to claim that they do not own any investments and they are 11% less likely to say they feel financially secure. Experian Simmons will continue to monitor this and other important consumer trends and share those findings here.