One third of Swiss people between 18 and 74 invest in the stock market, according to a study published on Tuesday.
The Swiss Banking Institute of Zurich University said 1,660,000 Swiss own shares. They are among the leaders in terms of playing the stock market.
The number of investors has doubled in the last three years, with transactions no longer reserved for the elite. The upward trend is the result of "the very good performance of the market since the mid-1990s," and the poor return offered by banks' savings accounts, according to the survey.
The typical investor profile is a man, aged around 46 earning SFr9,000 a month, with assets of between SFr100,000 and SFr1 million. The average salary of those without shares is SFr5,500 a month.
The Swiss-Germans are more likely to own shares, according to the survey. Thirty-two per cent of them do, compared with 23 per cent in French-speaking parts of the country.
Investing in shares, however, is only the seventh most popular thing to do with savings. In first position, 97 per cent of Swiss people favour placing their money in savings accounts, followed by 94 per cent who opt for liquid assets.
Forty-eight per cent of Swiss place their money in private pension funds, while 42 per cent choose life insurance, and 37 per cent opt for investment funds. Real estate lies in fifth position.
The Swiss are the third most active investors in the world, even ahead of the Americans. Australians followed by the Swedes own the most shares.
swissinfo with agencies