A recent report from the Russell Sage Foundation compared net worth levels of Americans over the 10 years from 2003 to 2013. It reveals that overall the average family in American hasn't seen a rise in net worth over the previous decade. The study found that the net worth of the median household in America declined 36% over the decade (after adjusting for inflation), from about $88,000 in 2003 to about $56,300 in 2013. Those in the 90 and 95 percentiles of net worth fared better. Those at the 90 percentile gained about 4% over the decade and those in the 95 percentile gained about 15%. The typical American at the percentiles of 5%, 25%, 50% and 75% all saw declines in net worth. Based on the most recent findings, more than a fourth of Americans have a negative net worth or one below $5,000. Note that these estimates of net worth include equity in homes or real estate. At the upper end of the wealth scale, the top 5% of Americans have a net worth of at least $1.3 million.
David A. Pace, CFA
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