Swedes are the world champions in mutual fund saving.
In fact, when including the privatized part of the government pension fund system, 100% of working Swedes have some part of their savings in a mutual fund. But even excluding that, the proportion tops out at about 80%, almost double the share among U.S. households.
"Not many countries measure the proportion, but it's difficult to beat 100%," said Fredrik Petterson, chief analyst at the Swedish Investment Fund Association, after releasing a study mapping the past 40 years.
Prescient political decisions that subsidized and embedded funds in the pension system, financial sophistication of households and not the least a surge in stock markets over the past decades have made funds a part of everybody's life, according to the study.