Investing statistics: what does investing look like in the US? 

1 min readLast updated February 28, 2024by Unbiased team

Demystify investment statistics and find out more about current investment trends, what the best long-term investments are, and how many people are invested in the stock market right now.

Highlights 

  • 61% of American adults invest in the stock market, and this number peaked at 65% in 2007. 

  • US adults aged between 55 and 64 years old invest the most in stocks. 

  • Cryptocurrency is one of the most popular new ways of investing.  

  • The best long-term investments are real estate, stocks, mutual funds, and bonds.  

How many people invest in the stock market in the US? 

The number of Americans who invest in the stock market peaked at 65% in 2007.  

In 2024, the number is only slightly lower, with investment statistics showing that 61% of adults in the United States invested in the stock market.  

This figure has remained steady over the last few years and is still below the levels before the Great Recession, when it peaked.  

However, despite this slight dip, investing is a consistently popular way for people to grow their wealth over time and ensure that their gross yearly income is sufficient for retirement plans, tuition coverage, and health care management, amongst other important financial needs.  

How do investment behaviors vary across different generations? 

The economic events and circumstances of each generation can influence how people perceive risk and reward, particularly in relation to investments.  

Age and experience also play a large role in how likely a person is to invest.  

For instance, according to Pew Research, Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 are the ones who invest in the stock market the most on average.  

Pew Research’s investing statistics show the median amount invested by age range: 

  • $7,700 among households younger than 35.  

  • $22,000 for households headed by 35- to 44-year-olds. 

  • $51,000 for those ages 45 to 54. 

  • $80,000 or higher for those 55 and older. 

Additionally, 41% of young adults own stock, a smaller number compared to the percentage of older adults with an investment portfolio.  

These investment facts indicate that as the investor population grows older, they have more funds to invest.  

Although Gen Z and Millennials do not have access to as many resources as their predecessors, young people are showing more interest in investment than previous generations at this age range, with 37% of Gen Z and 55% of millennial respondents owning individual stocks, and 36% of Gen Z and 47% of millennial respondents having a retirement account as of 2023.  

How do investment behaviors vary across different incomes? 

The average amount of money a household invests increases based on its average income. For example, homes with an income of under $35,000 annually have a medium holding of $8,400.  

In comparison, homes with average earnings of over $100,000 hold around $138,700. The amount of money available for investment increases once a family can meet essential needs like paying for energy, groceries, transportation, and healthcare.  

Households that earn greater than $100,000 invest the most in the stock market on average, with a median holding of $138,700.  

Essentially, the more disposable income a home has access to, the more likely they are to invest, and the more money they will be willing to invest at a given time.  

What are the new ways of investing? 

Thanks to the integration of technology and cryptocurrency, investing has evolved significantly over the past decade.  

The latter, in particular, has drastically changed the way Americans invest, with $14.39 billion being traded every 24 hours. However, these new ways of investing often pose higher risks and are not always regulated.  

Bitcoin, for example, reached an all-time high of over $65,000 in November 2021, highlighting the volatile yet potentially lucrative nature of cryptocurrency investments​​. Bitcoin accounted for $303 billion, just over 36% of the total crypto market cap in November 2022, emphasizing its dominance in the cryptocurrency market​​.  

$14.39 billion worth of cryptocurrency is traded every 24 hours, indicating significant daily activity and interest in the crypto market​​.  

68.6 million Americans owned a mutual fund in 2022, reflecting widespread participation in this traditional investment vehicle​​.  

Other new ways of investing include cannabis investing and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, both of which are connected to long-term sustainability initiatives - a growing trend in investment approaches in the US and throughout the world.  

What are the best long-term investments? 

Some investments lend themselves to short-term returns, others to long-term returns.  

The best long-term investments are typically ones that involve larger, more stable assets that can grow in value over time, such as property or stocks.  

Real estate remains the number one perceived long-term investment among Americans, but there are various long-term investments that people can choose to invest in.  

Let’s compare the best long-term investments in 2024: 

Long-term investmentAverage success rate
Real estate 35%
Stocks/mutual funds 21%
Savings accounts/CDs 17%
Gold 16%
Bonds 8%

Get expert financial advice 

Investing can be a powerful tool for growing wealth, but only when you have the right strategy in place. By learning more about investing, performing research on current investment trends, and hiring a financial advisor, anyone can invest successfully.  

To learn more about investment statistics, the best long-term investments, and new ways of investing, Unbiased will match you with an expert financial advisor today.  

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.