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Subject:  The Net Worth of American Households Date:  1/6/2007  9:10 PM
Author:  imdajunkman Number:  19309 of 36218

According to a chart to be found at the link below, the household net worth for Americans distributes as follows:

2.70%: over $1 million
8.70%: $500-999k
17.2%: $250-499k
21.6%: $100-249k
19.2%: $25-99k
30.6%: under $25k

I had no idea Americans were so poor. 49.8% of all households have a net worth under $100,000. That is very tiny money: a couple T-bill ladders and hardly adequate reserves in case of a genuine, financial hardship. A mere 11.4% of households have a net worth greater than $500,000, which also worrisome. $500k is merely the size of robustly-constructed, properly-diversified portfolio.

Given that most Americans consider their house to be their best investment and wouldn't feel good about themselves with less than a shiny car or two in the garage, the bulk of their net work probably isn't financial assets. Instead, they have a big house they are making payment, a new car they are making payments on, but probably not enough investment assets to produce a livable income, even if they did have the skills to manage those assets aggressively. Small wonder Social Security payments are such an important item in the lives of most retirees. They have very little money available to them from investment sources and very little net worth once the net equity of their house is subtracted from their total net worth.

What I find worrisome about this data is the nearness to poverty it implies about American households in a supposedly-wealthy country that, to date, has wasted $2.2 trillion dollars invading a country that was never a threat to it and intends to spend billions more on escalating vanity wars. The so-call “terrorists” won't defeat the US. It will be our own politics and economics. As Pogo might have said:

“We have seen the enemy, and he is us.”


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