Household net worth increased $1.7 trillion in Q2-2017 and now totals $96.1 trillion. Household net worth rose 29 of 32 quarters or 90% of the time since the ’08-’09 recession, according to the Federal Reserve’s Z.1 report. The facts are remarkable: homeowners and shareholders at large have seen their wealth grow by 70% since the financial crisis ended.
Households’ fortunes exceeded the ’09 low by $41 trillion and the previous ’07 high by $28 trillion. To put the magnitude into perspective, the $1.7 trillion dollar increase for the quarter ending June equates to $5,230 per person in the U.S.; that’s a ton of money. Taking this a step further, the $28 trillion change amounts to $86,153 per capita.
Unfortunately, many individuals do not have the financial means to be part of this extraordinary windfall. According to the Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2016, almost half of the respondents (44 percent) indicated that they did not have financial means to pay an unexpected $400 expense. There’s no simple solution to solving this problem, but I think a good place to start is by talking about money issues with others. I believe it is imperative that personal finance be introduced and taught in grammar school, middle school, high school and college.
I recently authored the book, Financial Fitness: The Journey from Wall Street to Badwater 135. The book is about how I achieved financial independence. I share how I learned to manage my money gainfully and become physically fit as well. Starting off, I was flat broke. I had no contacts to help open doors for me and limited options for success, but I had the opportunity to work in America, the greatest country in the world. I benefited from working hard, being persistent, and taking calculated risks along the way. I can honestly say that if I make it, anyone can.