I first started taking a close look at the Investor Class in 1999 – after a decade of economic growth and a 401k Revolution which ushered in the broadening of people with investments in the stock market, it was a time to examine who these investors were. Regardless of the amount they invested and the types of stocks and bonds in their portfolios, we really wanted to know whether or not they considered themselves to be members of the Investor Class. This was essentially a form of self-identification and our hypothesis was that those who identified so represented a different voting demographic than those who did not identify themselves in such a way.

The results in the late nineties were amazing – people with similar backgrounds and demographics were very different politically and ideologically if they believed they were members of the Investor Class. Generally, they were 10-12 points more likely to vote Republican and identify as conservative as their exact counterparts – including those with stock portfolios – who did not identify themselves this way.

As with the two previous groups I have written about – Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers and NASCAR Fans – the self-identified Investor Class has undergone a sea change in the past decade. Back in 2006, only 28% of this group said they were Democrats while 47% were Republican. The super-sample of 11,158 we polled that year also had 26% who said they were independents. Consistent with the party identification, only 20% described themselves as liberal, while more than twice as many (48%) said they were conservative and 27% moderate. Fifteen percent were members of a union, only 28% had children under 17 living at home, and 74% had a college degree. Significantly, 74% were white while only 9% were Hispanic and 10% African American.

The Investor Class supported George W. Bush twice and stayed on his side until the economic collapse in 2008.

Today the Investor Class is quite different. Among the 1,808 likely voters who said they were members, 40% are Democrats and 40% are Republicans – a 19 point swing from a decade ago. One in five (21%) are independent. The number of young people has changed significantly: today 18% are 18-29 (four points higher than 2006) and 44% are 30-49—meaning that now 62% are under 50 years of age compared with 56% a decade ago. At the same time, the racial characteristics have changed substantially so that today only 64% are while, while 21% are Hispanic, and 9% are African American. Now one in three (32%) identify as liberal (up 12 points) and 40% conservative (down 8 points). The percentage who belong to a union has doubled to 30% — up from 15% in 2006. Sixty-nine percent have a passport (up 7 points), 12% are LGBT, and 59% identify with the Creative Class.