When Charles Schwab and Ariel Mutual Funds conducted their first annual Black Investor Survey at the premier Ariel-Schwab Black Investor Summit a decade ago, 57% of Blacks said they owned stocks or mutual funds. Today, that number remains the same. However, in 2002, it peaked at 74%, while in the past 10 years, the number of Whites who own stocks or mutual funds has hovered around 80%.

And of those earning more than $50,000 a year, Blacks' median retirement savings is $48,000, less than half of the $100,000 that Whites have saved. Among those already retired, Blacks have a median savings of $73,000, whereas Whites have $210,000.

"Many Americans are not saving enough to ensure a comfortable retirement, but the need to better prepare for their financial futures is even more pressing among this underserved segment of our population," said Schwab CEO and Chairman Charles R. Schwab.

Ariel President Mellody Hobson added: "The data suggests that barriers to investing are just as formidable as they were a decade ago. Our industry and our community must address this challenge aggressively." Argosy Research conducted the survey among 500 Black and 500 White households earning $50,000 or more a year. The retiree portion was conducted among 300 Blacks and 300 Whites who are within the first 10 years of retirement.

(c) 2007 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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