A recent national study by Chicago-based Ariel Investments shows that more black Americans are investing in the stock market. For years, blacks stayed away from stock investments, but that trend is beginning to change.
67% of Blacks are investing
According to the study, stock market investing has grown among the black population over the years. In 1998, 57 percent of blacks were investing in stocks or stock mutual funds. By 2010, that number had grown to 60 percent, and today 67 percent of blacks invest in stocks or stock mutual funds. One reason suggested is that more employers are offering 401K programs for their employees. Since employers match 401K deposits up to various amounts, black employees consider this a very important reason to invest and grow wealth.
Investment attitudes different based on race
Investment attitudes and behaviors differ between blacks and whites. Blacks and Hispanics invest less money, and their investments are in safer yet low-returning assets, making their wealth levels about 90 percent lower than the wealth levels of median whites, even when their level of income is only 40 percent lower. This has an effect on the growth of overall wealth.
But wait, there’s more!
In addition, while blacks always considered their homes to be their “best overall investment,” that, too, is changing, falling from 61 percent in 2004 to its current level of 37 percent. How they view stock investing, however, is changing in the opposite direction. In 2004, only 28 percent of blacks felt that stocks were their best overall investment. But in the recent survey, that number increased to 41 percent.
What all of this may point to is closing the gap in wealth inequality between black and white Americans as the upward trend for more black investors in the stock market continues.