There are about 51 million households in the U.S. that own mutual funds as of 2007. And remember, exchange traded funds (ETFs) are included in that number.

The 51 million households represent about 44% of all American households, translating into 88.2 million individual shareholders. Mutual Fund Wire reports mutual fund ownership has remained steady from 2006, when 49.9 million households owned mutual funds. On average, most mutual fund shareholders have moderate incomes, from $25,000-$99,000, and are in their peak earning and saving years. Around twice as many U.S. households own mutual funds through tax-deferred-accounts-employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Although ETFs are fairly new investment tools, they are growing and making their mark in the investment world.  ETF assets have grown about 38.2% so far in 2007 and the number of ETFs available has gone from 359 to 586 in 10 months. Once ETFs are widely available in retirement plans, it will be interesting to see what shifts are made in the above reported numbers.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.