For the second month in a row, Bankrate’s Financial Security Index has remained in positive territory. While dropping back from the all-time high of 101.5, the index still showed Americans’ optimism at 100.4. Anything above 100 reflects a positive feeling of financial security among respondents.
Bankrate’s Financial Security Index gauges how Americans feel today versus a year ago on vital financial matters. An index value of less than 100 indicates declining levels of financial security; a value greater than 100 reveals higher levels of security compared to 12 months ago.
This is only the second time we’ve seen the index remain positive for more than one month. The last time was in May and June of 2012, when the index remained at 100.8 for both months before a drop-off.
Whether the numbers will continue to stay in positive territory remains to be seen, but when it comes to job security, debt, net worth and overall financial situation, Americans feel they have progressed over the past year.
The only area where we continue to feel less secure is savings. More than a third (37 percent) said they are less comfortable with their savings, up 6 percent from last month. This could be due in part to the extremely low interest rates savers face with certificates of deposit and savings accounts. However, those low rates haven’t pushed people into the stock market, where risk is higher, but returns are better. More than 75 percent of Americans aren’t more likely to invest in the stock market, even with the recent highs it’s been seeing.
Will Americans start to feel more comfortable with their savings as the year goes on? And will this positive trend in the index continue? We’ll find out in the May Financial Security Index.
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