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2 out of 3 Australians missing out on massive gains

The 2012 Australian Share Ownership Study, conducted by the ASX and released yesterday, shows that roughly 66% of Australians are not currently invested in direct shares, meaning that only one third of Australians are taking advantage of the enormous gains on offer.

Whilst it has been revealed that 50% of the adult population has never actually invested in the share market directly, as much as 16% of the population who have owned shares in the past no longer do.

Over the past 12 months, the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has offered investors significant gains – particularly in comparison to the interest rates available on savings accounts or term deposits. Since the study was conducted between the months of September and November last year, the index has gained over 20%, whilst well-known corporations such as National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB), Myer Holdings (ASX: MYR) and Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) have risen 31%, 37% and 24%, respectively (not to mention dividends that have also been distributed!).

These results show that the 76% of direct holders who believed it was a good time to buy and hold shares were justified in thinking that way.

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The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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