Saturday, July 26, 2014

U.S. Household Net Worth Drops

The NY Times brings us this update from the Russell Sage Foundation:
The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.
“The housing bubble basically hid a trend of declining financial wealth at the median that began in 2001,” said Fabian T. Pfeffer, the University of Michigan professor who is lead author of the Russell Sage Foundation study.
Here is the study.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bull market sends 401(k)s soaring to record highs

Fidelity analyzed its accounts for 13 million workers with 401(k) plans as well as its IRA balances for individuals at the end of the second quarter.
• The average 401(k) balance rose 12.9% to $91,000, a record high, up from $80,600 at the end of the second quarter of 2013. This represents accounts from a wide range of workers, including those just starting their careers and others nearing retirement.
• The average balance in a Fidelity Individual Retirement Account (IRA) at the end of the quarter was $92,600, another record high, up 14.7% compared with the same time last year.
• 77% of the growth in account balances is due to the stock market; 23% is due to employee and employer contributions.
• The average balance for employees who have been saving in their 401(k) for 10 years increased 15% over the last decade to $246,200.
• Employees contributed an average of $6,050 to their 401(k)s this past year; employers contributed an average of an additional $3,540.