A Third of the US Population Invests in Mutual Funds

October 3, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Partly due to the increased popularity of defined contribution retirement plans, the estimated number of households investing in mutual funds has grown by 3.1 million over the last year, according to research from the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

The study shows that the number grew to 54.8 million, or 52% of all US households from 51.7 million households, or 49% of all US households, the previous year.

In addition, the number of individuals owning mutual funds rose to 93.3 million from 89.7 million in 2000. In other words, one in three of the 281 million people in the US now own mutual funds.

Investment Channels

And while 401(k) type plans represent an important investment channel – 33% of US households held mutual funds in employer-sponsored retirement pans – the research also found an increase in the number of investors who own funds outside of employer plans, including through IRAs.

Results of the study show that fund ownership tends to increase with income. A little over a third of all households with income less than $50,000 owned mutual funds, while 74% with income more than $50,000 owned mutual funds.

The Institute’s report is based on a survey of 3,019 randomly selected US households conducted in May 2001.