Net worth

September 2011 Financial Security Index » Net Worth


Consider your net worth, or your total assets including any real estate equity minus your debts. Compared to 12 months ago, is your net worth:

Among those 30 and older, more Americans report lower net worth than higher net worth compared to last year.
Meanwhile, for those less than 30: 29 percent report higher net worth, while 19 percent say their net worth is lower.
Across all education levels, more people say their net worth is lower today than it was last year.
Bernard R. Wolfe

"Chasing returns and investing near market highs are classic investor faux pas."

Many of those who said they have seen their net worth drop significantly over the past year may be incorrect. Even after the recent correction, the markets are still up for the trailing 12 months. But people have short-term memories, so the most recent downturn and the increased media coverage of this correction have increased the anxiety level for the average investor. Many fear we are experiencing a similar market to 2008. For those who have actually had a decrease in their net worth, it may be a result of one of the following: poor investment decisions, investing near the height of the markets or significant increases in spending. Chasing returns and investing near market highs are classic investor faux pas.

- Bernard R. Wolfe, CFP, founder of Bernard R. Wolfe & Associates in Chevy Chase, Md.

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