DDM - Financial Services

Observations / Impacts of US Consumer Wealth Trends

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October 2015 Introductory Commentary by Amy Crews Cutts, PhD, SVP – Chief Economist, Equifax The Great Recession, which started in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009, caused significant economic harm to households in the U.S. A net 3.8 million adults lost their jobs, countless businesses, large and small, failed and homeowners lost over $7 trillion in equity in their homes. The financial crisis that predicated the Great Recession still is being felt around the globe a full six years later. Importantly though, U.S. households have made great strides in regaining their financial health. As the U.S. economy has improved, employment has exceeded its pre-recession levels, wages are rising and household wealth has achieved a new peak. However the form of the wealth and its distribution across households has changed markedly. While it is true to say that the rich have gotten richer, so too have the not-so-rich, though not nearly by the same rate. All have become more risk-averse, choosing to keep more of their investable financial assets in deposit accounts which earn little or no interest. These deposits protect the principal value of household wealth, the downside risk, but offer no upside of wealth appreciation. In the following pages, we explore how the non-housing financial wealth of U.S. households has changed from just prior to the onset of the Great Recession to today. Observations and Impacts of U.S. Consumer Wealth Trends Investment Landscape, Distribution of Assets, and Portfolio Allocation by Asset Tiers U.S. INFORMATION SOLUTIONS The information in this presentation is not to be relied upon, is not intended to be, nor should it be used or construed as, legal advice. Equifax assumes no liability for any errors or omissions in the information in this presentation. Compliance with laws and their implementing regulations is the responsibility of each entity to which such laws apply.

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