Interesting Facts for Investors
Interesting Facts for Investors

Finance is a complex and ever-evolving field that many find fascinating yet intimidating. As an investor, having a strong grasp of key financial principles and trends can help inform your investment decisions and lead to better outcomes. This article will provide an overview of 12 interesting finance facts and statistics relevant for investors in areas like behavioral economics, market performance, investor demographics, and more. Read on to expand your financial knowledge!

1.The average hourly wage in the finance industry is $36.59.

The finance sector comprises various professions from bank tellers to hedge fund managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage across all finance occupations is $36.59, which translates to over $76,000 annually. This is nearly double the overall private sector average of $27.07 per hour. The high wages in finance reflect the advanced skills and training required by many positions in this lucrative field.

2.The S&P 500 yielded a 10.7% average annual return from 2010-2019.

The S&P 500 is a stock market index that tracks 500 large U.S. companies. It is considered a key benchmark for overall stock market performance. According to investment research firm DQYDJ, the inflation-adjusted total return for the S&P 500 averaged 10.7% annually over the past decade between 2010-2019. This robust rate of return underscores the potential opportunities of stock market investing for those with long investment horizons.

3.Women represent around 16% of fund managers in the asset management industry.

While women have made great strides, the money management field remains male-dominated. Data from Morningstar shows women hold just 16% of fund manager positions at the 500 largest U.S. asset managers. The lack of women in senior fund management roles has spurred calls for more diversity. Firms are increasingly realizing diverse teams lead to better performance. Promoting inclusion brings different perspectives and helps attract the best talent.

4.Over 55% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.

Retirement planning is critical, yet many struggle to save adequately. A 2019 GOBankingRates survey found over 55% of Americans have retirement savings under $10,000. Worryingly, around 14% had no retirement savings at all. With Americans living longer, a $10,000 nest egg likely won’t cut it. This grim savings data highlights the need for better retirement planning and financial education. It also showcases the need to start saving as early as possible.

5.Around 2/3rds of market trading is driven by algorithmic or high-frequency trading.

Technology plays a huge role in finance. An estimated 60-70% of all U.S. equity trading and FX trading is driven by algorithmic or high-frequency trading. These sophisticated computer models can execute trades in milliseconds based on market patterns and trends. While debated, algorithmic trading provides market liquidity and better pricing. However, it also increases volatility which can heighten risk and trigger flash crashes.

6.The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 16.63% in 1981.

Mortgage rates vary over time based on economic conditions and bond yields. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit its highest levels ever in 1981 at 16.63%. By contrast, current rates are far lower with 30-year fixed mortgages around 3-4%. Lower rates make financing more affordable for borrowers. But expectations are for rates to rise as the Fed tackles high inflation.

7.Median net worth jumps from $45,000 for ages 35-44 to over $100,000 for ages 45-54.

Net worth is a key indicator of financial health and steadily builds over one’s working career. Data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances shows median net worth grows from $13,900 for under 35s to $45,000 for those aged 35-44. It then soars to over $100,000 for 45-54 and peaks at $266,400 for those aged 75+. This demonstrates how critical the prime earning years are for wealth accumulation before retirement.

8.The average expense ratio for mutual funds is around 0.45%.

Mutual funds pool money from investors to purchase a mix of stocks, bonds and other assets. A fund’s expense ratio represents the percentage of assets deducted annually to cover operating costs. According to the Investment Company Institute, the asset-weighted average expense ratio across equity mutual funds is around 0.45%. These fees directly impact net returns, underscoring the importance of minimizing fund costs and opting for low-fee index funds when possible.

9.Over 50% of Americans with credit card debt carry balances of $6,200 or more.

A Federal Reserve report shows a significant portion of credit card users carry high balances that incur costly interest charges. Around 43% of Americans with credit card debt have balances between $1,000-$5,000. Shockingly, over 20% owe balances above $10,000. With U.S. revolving debt hitting $1.1 trillion, this signals households are taking on risky credit card debt that threatens their financial health.

10.The U.S. Treasury Department was first established in 1789.

The Treasury plays a vital role managing government finances. It collects taxes, prints money, pays bills, manages federal debt and enforces finance laws. This cabinet-level executive agency has an extensive history dating back to the founding of America. The Treasury was first created in 1789 through an Act of Congress under the original U.S. Constitution. Alexander Hamilton served as the first ever Secretary of the Treasury.

11.Passive investing accounts for over 40% of U.S. equity mutual fund assets.

Passive investing has grown enormously by tracking indexes like the S&P 500 rather than picking individual stocks. Assets in passive U.S. equity mutual funds and ETFs first overtook active funds in 2019. Passive strategies now account for 42% of the $12.6 trillion invested in U.S. equity mutual funds and ETFs as of 2021. This shift reflects falling costs and growing acceptance of passive funds to attain market returns.

12.The average 401(k) balance reached $106,500 in 2020.

401(k) plans are vital for retirement savings with many employers offering matching contributions. According to Fidelity Investments, the average 401(k) plan balance climbed to $106,500 in 2020, up from $95,600 in 2019. Higher balances partly reflect pandemic lockdowns curbing spending and stock markets rallying after initial crashes. Maximizing 401(k) contributions allows investors to benefit from compound growth over time.


Gaining financial knowledge can make you a savvier investor able to better navigate markets. This rundown of 12 fascinating finance facts helps provide perspective on economic trends, investor behavior, retirement planning and more. Though markets and policies fluctuate, grasping core concepts will serve any investor well. Revisit and share these insights as you chart your own investing journey in the years ahead.

By Alex Benjamin

Alex Benjamin, historian, quizmaster, and author, passionately explores history's depths. Renowned for unearthing forgotten facts, he's a quiz expert captivating audiences worldwide.

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