April 2011: Net worth

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Net worth is your total assets, including home equity, minus your debts. Compared to 12 months ago, is your net worth:

Only 11 percent of respondents over 65 said their net worth was higher, lowest among the age groups.
Respondents over 65 were the most likely to say their net worth is lower, at 31 percent.
Respondents aged 18 to 29 were most likely to report higher net worth, at 26 percent.
Mark Cortazzo

"There is a large part of the U.S. where real estate prices are still on a decline."

I think people are dipping into savings. Major assets like real estate are under pressure and I think that makes people feel that they have less discretionary income and that they have a lesser net worth. There is also the 21 percent who feel wealthier though. The market has come back strong; if you were buying throughout this dip, you were handsomely rewarded. The irony behind a lot of this: Stocks are the only thing that people don't want to buy on sale.

- Mark Cortazzo, Certified Financial Planner, founder of Flat Fee Portfolios, Parsippany, N.J.

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