A significant percentage of upper-income households continue to own funds, according to some recently released statistics from the Investment Company Institute’s “Profile of Mutual Fund Shareholders, 2009,” though the percentage of mutual fund-owning households does decline with increasing income.

Overall, a large number of households in all income categories own mutual funds, according to ICI data.

In 2009, 24 percent of mutual fund-owning households had incomes of less than $50,000, 40 percent had household incomes between $50,000 and $99,999, 21 percent had household incomes between $100,000 and $149,999, and 15 percent had household incomes of $150,000 or more.

Household Incomes of $150,000 or More

Among mutual fund-owning households with incomes of $150,000 or more, median household financial assets were $500,000 — the greatest of any of the income groups.

Mutual fund-owning households with incomes of $150,000 or more had median mutual fund holdings of $250,000 — also the greatest of any shareholder group classified by household income.

Forty-five percent of mutual fund-owning households in this income group owned certificates of deposit, 61 percent owned individual stocks, 21 percent owned individual bonds, and 49 percent owned investment real estate.

Eighty-seven percent of these households owned equity funds, 52 percent owned hybrid funds, 64 percent owned bond funds, and 72 percent owned money market funds. Sixty-two percent had more than half of their household financial assets in mutual funds.

The median number of mutual funds owned by mutual fund-owning households in this group was eight (Figure 7.6). Fifteen percent of households in this group owned three or fewer funds and 85 percent owned four or more.

Among households in this group that owned mutual funds outside employer-sponsored retirement plans, 66 percent owned funds purchased from multiple sources. Seventy-seven percent of mutual fund-owning households with incomes of $150,000 or more owned funds through employer-sponsored retirement plans.

In addition, 81 percent owned funds outside these plans, with 64 percent owning sales force-distributed funds and 46 percent owning direct-marketed funds.

Household Incomes between $100,000 and $149,999

Among mutual fund-owning households with incomes between $100,000 and $149,999, median household financial assets were $200,000.

These households had a variety of savings and investments. Thirty-eight percent of mutual fund-owning households in this income group owned certificates of deposit, 55 percent owned individual stocks, and 15 percent owned individual bonds.

Mutual fund-owning households with incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 had median mutual fund holdings of $100,000. Seventy-nine percent of these households owned equity funds, 50 percent owned hybrid funds, 49 percent owned bond funds, and 62 percent owned money market funds.

Sixty-six percent had more than half of their household financial assets in mutual funds.

The median number of mutual funds owned by mutual fund-owning households in this income group was five. Thirty-three percent owned three or fewer funds and 67 percent owned four or more.

Among households in this group that owned mutual funds outside employer-sponsored retirement plans, 62 percent owned funds purchased from multiple sources.

Seventy-five percent of mutual fund-owning households with incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 owned funds through employer-sponsored retirement plans. In addition, 71 percent owned funds outside these plans, with 55 percent owning sales force-distributed funds and 28 percent owning direct-marketed funds.