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11 Key Facts About BDs, Retirement Plans and Markets: SIFMA

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Every year the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the trade group representing securities firms, banks and asset management companies, releases its Capital Markets Fact Book which provides voluminous data on the financial industry, markets and individual investors.

In addition to the size and growth of U.S. and global capital markets in the past year, the fact book includes data on the number of broker-dealer firms and FINRA-registered reps in the U.S. overall and in individual states, plus info on BD revenues and profits. Data on the financial assets of individual investors, including their retirement assets in defined benefit, defined contribution and IRA plans, are also included.

Several dozen sources are tapped for their data, including in addition to SIFMA, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve, Bank of International Settlement, Investment Company Institute, U.S. Labor Department, Bloomberg and Dealogic. 

The 2019 Capital Markets Fact Book, based on 2018 data, is a mixed bag.

Profits at FINRA-registered BDs in the U.S. increased 17% but employment in the securities industry employment rose just 2.7% in 2018, to 970,100, according to the U.S. Labor Department. About two-thirds of industry workers were registered reps.

Merger and acquisition announcements soared almost 24% (17% were completed by year-end) and IPO volume jumped 27%, but equity issuance, including common and preferred shares, increased a mere 0.4% to $221.2 billion. And who can forget the tumult in the fourth quarter, which wiped out all of the year’s earlier stellar gains, leaving the S&P 500 with a 6% loss for the year, its worst performance in a decade.

Also in 2018, corporate and municipal bond issuance, in contrast, fell by double digits and U.S. household liquid assets U.S. retirement assets shrunk about 1.5%.

Check out the slide show above for some of the key highlights from SIFMA’s latest Fact Book. Charts by SIFMA.

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