Wall Street Crush
Financial Times (08/30/00) Vol. 104, No. 34 p.12; Hill, Andrew

The number of Americans who own stock shares is higher than ever, but policymakers studying this growing group are having a difficult time determining the identity of the average investor. According to recent estimates, the percentage of U.S. investors with equity investments rose 86 percent between 1983 and 1999 to 78.7 million. Meanwhile, Chase H&Q, an investment banking arm of Chase Manhattan, reports that the total number of online brokerage accounts in the United States rose 38 percent to 17.4 million between December and June. Driving the trend is a combination of the rising popularity of mutual funds, the introduction of tax-deferred retirement accounts, and the equity bull market. The makeup of the shareholder class has changed over the years. Investors are no longer banker types, but are everyday people.

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