Financial Security Index steady, positive
Financial security ticked higher in April as consumers noted an improvement in job security, net worth and their financial situation over the past year, according to a monthly survey by Bankrate.com. Comfort levels with debt and savings deteriorated, however.
Bankrate's Financial Security Index rose to 100.5 from 100.4 in April 2013. That's lower than March's reading of 102.2, but any index above 100 still indicates improved financial security over the past year.
The index has shown a deteriorating comfort level with savings every month since polling began in December 2010. Comfort levels with debt also deteriorated compared with one year ago for the second time in seven months.
Meanwhile, the survey showed that consumers continued to avoid the stock market despite record highs and market returns exceeding 30 percent in 2013.
"Americans may be avoiding the buy-high, sell-low habit seen in previous market cycles, but only because they're not buying at all," Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride said. "An overly conservative investment stance compounds the problem that so many Americans have of not saving enough for longer-range goals like retirement."
The Financial Security Index was based on a survey of 1,010 people during the first week of April. The survey is conducted every month by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
If you think your savings could use a boost, take a look at the savings rates at Bankrate.com.