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Based on all the headlines and talking heads, the economy’s purring back to life. The Dow is back to pre-crash levels, private sector jobs are returning and consumers are cautiously optimistic again.

So why is everyone still so scared of the stock market? A new Gallup poll reveals only 54 percent of Americans hold individual stocks, mutual funds or 401(k) and individual IRA stocks. That’s the lowest level of Americans invested in the market in the 12-year history of this particular Gallup poll and big 11 percent dip from 2007.

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