Household Assets

Where people save their money and how much they save reflect many factors, including their personal finances, their appetite for risk, the investment products and savings incentives available to them, and the state of the economy. Personal assets rose by 1.0 percent to $46.3 trillion in 2011, following increases of 6.9 percent and 10.3 percent in 2010 and 2009, respectively. In 2008 personal assets fell by 16.3 percent to $38.8 trillion, the lowest level since 2004.

 

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES OF THE PERSONAL SECTOR, 1991-2011 (1)

($ billions, end of year)

  Value Percent of total
  1991 2001 2011 1991 2001 2011
Total financial assets $13,602.1 $28,997.2 $46,266.3 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Foreign deposits 14.6 48.7 51.0 0.1 0.2 0.1
Checkable deposits and currency 590.3 661.8 1,182.9 4.3 2.3 2.6
Time and savings deposits 2,494.0 3,585.8 7,173.5 18.3 12.4 15.5
Money market fund shares 415.1 1,160.1 1,178.3 3.1 4.0 2.5
Securities 5,098.7 11,839.2 18,103.8 37.5 40.8 39.1
     Open market paper 58.5 88.2 58.2 0.4 0.3 0.1
     U.S. savings bonds 138.1 190.3 185.2 1.0 0.7 0.4
     Other treasury securities 409.6 286.5 974.6 3.0 1.0 2.1
     Agency- and GSE (2)-backed securities 115.5 407.3 93.1 0.8 1.4 0.2
     Municipal securities 701.8 584.2 1,896.7 5.2 2.0 4.1
     Corporate and foreign bonds 270.9 838.6 1,887.1 2.0 2.9 4.1
     Corporate equities (3) 2,759.2 6,825.9 8,356.8 20.3 23.5 18.1
     Mutual fund shares 645.0 2,618.2 4,652.2 4.7 9.0 10.1
Life insurance reserves 418.6 880.0 1,200.8 3.1 3.0 2.6
Pension fund reserves 3,830.6 8,764.3 13,147.1 28.2 30.2 28.4
     Life insurance companies 621.2 1,558.5 2,562.9 4.6 5.4 5.5
     Private pension funds 1,959.7 4,095.9 6,106.9 14.4 14.1 13.2
     Governments 1,249.7 3,109.9 4,477.4 9.2 10.7 9.7
Miscellaneous and other assets 740.3 2,057.3 4,229.0 5.4 7.1 9.1
Total liabilities $5,335.1 $10,990.2 $19,042.5 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Home mortgages 2,766.3 5,657.8 10,258.0 51.9 51.5 53.9
Other mortgages 884.1 1,309.8 2,420.3 16.6 11.9 12.7
Consumer credit 815.6 1,891.8 2,508.2 15.3 17.2 13.2
Policy loans 67.3 105.0 127.0 1.3 1.0 0.7
Security credit 55.1 196.4 238.5 1.0 1.8 1.3
Other liabilities (4) 746.8 1,829.5 3,490.5 14.0 16.6 18.3

(1) Combined statement for households and nonprofit organizations, nonfarm nonfinancial noncorporate business and noncorporate farm business.
(2) Government-sponsored enterprise.
(3) Only those directly held and those in closed-end and exchange traded funds. Other equities are included in mutual funds, life insurance and pension reserves.
(4) Includes corporate farms.

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 7, 2012.

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U.S. HOUSEHOLD OWNERSHIP OF MUTUAL FUNDS, 1980-2011

(Percent of all U.S. households)

Source: Investment Company Institute; U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

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NONFINANCIAL ASSETS HELD BY FAMILIES BY TYPE OF ASSET, 2001-2010

Percent of families owning asset (1) Vehicles Primary residence Other residential property Equity in nonresidential property Business equity Other Any nonfinancial asset Any asset
2001 84.8% 67.7% 11.3% 8.2% 11.9% 7.5% 90.7% 96.7%
2004 86.3 69.1 12.5 8.3 11.5 7.8 92.5 97.9
2007 87.0 68.6 13.8 8.1 13.6 7.2 92.0 97.7
2010 86.7 67.3 14.4 7.7 13.3 7.0 91.3 97.4
By age of family head, 2010                
Under 35 79.4 37.5 4.5 2.3 8.4 6.1 82.8 95.5
35 to 44 88.9 63.8 9.7 3.9 11.2 4.2 92.7 97.4
45 to 54 91.0 75.2 17.0 7.5 16.8 6.7 94.7 98.3
55 to 64 90.3 78.1 22.1 12.6 19.6 9.6 94.4 98.3
65 to 74 86.5 82.6 22.8 11.0 15.8 11.0 92.6 97.1
75 and over 83.4 81.9 14.6 13.4 6.0 6.0 93.0 98.7
Percentiles of income, 2010 (2)                
Less than 20 64.9 37.2 4.4 3.9 5.1 2.7 72.0 89.9
20 to 39.9 85.4 55.9 7.4 5.2 6.6 4.4 90.7 98.0
40 to 59.9 91.8 71.1 11.6 6.3 10.6 7.3 96.0 99.5
60 to 79.9 95.4 80.7 16.0 7.9 15.5 9.3 98.6 99.9
80 to 89.9 96.4 90.6 22.8 11.4 19.3 10.8 99.4 100.0
90 to 100 95.7 92.4 42.1 18.8 37.6 12.3 99.4 100.0

(1) Families include one-person units.
(2) Ranges represent percentiles rather than income levels. A percentile is a statistical ranking point. The 50th percentile represents the midpoint of all values. For example, at the 50th percentile, half of the families in the ranking fall above this income level and half fall below.

Note: Latest data available. Based on surveys conducted every three years.

Source: Survey of Consumer Finances, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

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FINANCIAL ASSETS HELD BY FAMILIES BY TYPE OF ASSET, 2001-2010

Percentage of families owning asset (1) Transaction accounts (2) Certificates of deposit Savings bonds Bonds (3) Stocks (3) Mutual funds (4) Retirement accounts (5) Life insurance (6) Other assets (7) Any financial asset (8)
2001 91.4% 15.7% 16.7% 3.0% 21.3% 17.7% 52.2% 28.0% 16.0% 93.4%
2004 91.3 12.7 17.6 1.8 20.7 15.0 49.7 24.2 17.3 93.8
2007 92.1 16.1 14.9 1.6 17.9 11.4 53.0 23.0 15.1 93.9
2010 92.5 12.2 12.0 1.6 15.1 8.7 50.4 19.7 13.7 94.0
By age of family head, 2010                    
Under 35 89.0 5.7 10.0 (9) 10.1 3.6 41.1 9.6 9.9 91.3
35 to 44 90.6 5.7 11.6 0.4 12.1 7.7 52.2 12.3 10.4 92.7
45 to 54 92.5 10.0 15.0 1.4 16.0 9.6 60.0 19.8 14.2 94.2
55 to 64 94.2 14.6 14.3 2.4 19.5 11.3 59.8 25.7 16.6 95.8
65 to 74 95.8 20.6 9.1 3.4 16.1 11.1 49.0 28.4 18.9 96.2
75 and over 96.4 27.2 10.1 3.6 20.1 11.9 32.8 32.4 19.1 96.4
Percentiles of income, 2010 (10)                    
Less than 20 76.2 5.7 3.6 0.1 3.8 2.1 11.2 10.7 8.7 79.2
20 to 39.9 91.1 11.1 6.0 (9) 6.0 3.5 30.5 17.2 10.9 93.6
40 to 59.9 96.4 11.7 10.8 (9) 11.7 5.8 52.8 19.5 15.1 97.8
60 to 79.9 98.9 15.8 16.0 1.3 17.3 8.8 69.7 22.8 14.2 99.6
80 to 89.9 99.8 12.1 23.0 2.0 25.7 14.6 85.7 25.8 16.3 100.0
90 to 100 99.9 21.5 24.4 8.3 47.8 32.1 90.1 30.9 22.6 100.0
Percent distribution
of amount of financial
assets of all families
                   
2001 11.4 3.1 0.7 4.5 21.5 12.1 29.0 5.3 12.4 100.0
2004 13.1 3.7 0.5 5.3 17.5 14.6 32.4 2.9 10.0 100.0
2007 10.9 4.0 0.4 4.1 17.8 15.8 35.1 3.2 8.6 100.0
2010 13.3 3.9 0.3 4.4 14.0 15.0 38.1 2.5 8.5 100.0

(1) Families include one-person units.
(2) Includes checking, savings and money market deposit accounts; money market mutual funds; and call accounts at brokerages.
(3) Covers only those stocks and bonds that are directly held by families outside mutual funds, retirement accounts and other managed assets.
(4) Excludes money market mutual funds and funds held through retirement accounts or other managed assets.
(5) Covers IRAs, Keogh accounts and employer-provided pension plans. Employer-sponsored accounts are those from current jobs (restricted to those in which loans or withdrawals can be made, such as 401(k) accounts) held by the family head and that person's spouse or partner as well as those from past jobs held by either or both of them. Accounts from past jobs are restricted to those from which the family expects to receive the account balance in the future.
(6) Cash value.
(7) Includes personal annuities and trusts with an equity interest, managed investment accounts and miscellaneous assets.
(8) Includes other types of financial assets, not shown separately.
(9) Ten or fewer observations.
(10) Ranges represent percentiles rather than income levels. A percentile is a statistical ranking point. The 50th percentile represents the midpoint of all values. For example, at the 50th percentile half of the families in the ranking fall above this income level, and half fall below.

Note: Latest data available. Based on surveys conducted every three years.

Source: Survey of Consumer Finances, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

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