Household Portfolios in the United States

41 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2000

See all articles by Carol C. Bertaut

Carol C. Bertaut

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Martha Starr

American University - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 10, 2000

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. wealth

Keywords: Household portfolios, portfolio choice, household

JEL Classification: G11, E21, D91, D12

Suggested Citation

Bertaut, Carol C. and Starr, Martha, Household Portfolios in the United States (April 10, 2000). FEDS Working Paper No. 2000-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=234154 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.234154

Carol C. Bertaut

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th and C Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Martha Starr (Contact Author)

American University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20016-8029
United States
202-885-3747 (Phone)

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