Nothing in the previous history of U.S. securities compares with the awesome rise of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1981 to 1999. In those eighteen years it went up more than twelve-fold. This phenomenal rise was at least partly attributable to an increase in the proportion of the population owning stock.
A vast democratization of the stock market occurred in the 1980s and 1990s as new investment vehicles such as mutual funds, IRAs, Keoghs, 401(k)'s, 403(b)'s, SEPs, and more, became popular choices. In the 2000, however, the stock market lost some ground.