In 1998, when Charles Schwab and Ariel Mutual Funds conducted their first annual Black Investor Survey at the premier Ariel-Schwab Black Investor Summit, 57% of Blacks said they owned stocks or mutual funds. Today, that number remains unchanged. 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, the 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.

“The truth is that many Americans are not saving enough to ensure a comfortable retirement,” said Schwab CEO and Chairman Charles R. Schwab. “The problem is broad-based. But the 10th anniversary of this research and today’s summit serve as important reminders that the need to better prepare for their financial futures is even more pressing among this underserved segment of our population.”

Ariel President Mellody Hobson added: “The data is troubling because it 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 at the end of June. The retiree portion was conducted among 300 Blacks and 300 Whites who are within the first 10 years of retirement and who earned more than $50,000 a year before retiring.

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