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Household portfolios in the United States

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  • Carol Bertaut
  • Martha Starr-McCluer

Abstract

This paper investigates the composition of households' assets and liabilities in the United States. Using aggregate and survey data, we document major trends in household portfolios in the past 15 years. We show that, despite the broad array of financial products available, the portfolio of the typical household remains fairly simple and safe, consisting of a checking account, savings account, and tax-deferred retirement account; in 1998, less than half of all households owned some form of stock. We use pooled data from the Survey of Consumer Finances to investigate determinants of portfolio choice, finding significant effects of age, wealth, income risk, and entry/information costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2000-26.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2000-26

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Keywords: Saving and investment ; Income ; Consumer behavior;

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