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I would say the number is way higher. While people might not hold stocks personally, I'd bet their pension plans, etc., are invested in the stock market.

It appears that that 52% participation rate is roughly correct as several articles say less than half of people have retirement savings outside of Social Security.

If you look at the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, it’s indeed true that in 2013 only about 45 percent of households aged 25 to 64 had balances in retirement accounts.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbiggs/2016/09/20/how-many...

In addition to the 45% that participate in savings plans, there are still a few people who are covered by defined benefit plans.

In 2015, the total U.S. labor force was about 157 million people. Of that group, about 22 million were employed by the federal, state or local governments. And the vast majority of those 22 million government employees have a defined benefit retirement plan. (same link)

While the pension funds supporting defined benefit plans are invested in the stock market, the retiree's pension income is not directly connected to the action in the market. A 30% rise in the market does not mean a 30% rise in his pension benefits.

Steve
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