Saturday, December 9, 2017

Household Stock Exposure

If you say that you are mine
I'll be here till end of time
--The Clash

Financial media frequently claim that households aren't into stocks any more and have therefore missed most of this bull market. In reality, most households never left stocks in a big way. While they may not be day trading brokerage and IRA accounts as in the heady .com days, households are likely to be significantly exposed to stocks via held 401(k) mutual funds, 'lifestyle' retirement funds, stock-laden pension and insurance pools, and other vehicles.

Currently, households hold more money in stocks than at any other time outside of the .com peak in 2000.

This is, of course, a key reason why policymakers can't afford for stocks to decline in meaningful way. Can their prop job endure?

If not, then people will still hold the shares, but they will be worth far less.

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