Sunday, August 18, 2013

Investing attitudes help rich get richer

After five tough years, the nation’s wealth has finally pushed above the former pre-recession peak. Household net worth in 2013 has topped $70 trillion for the first time, exceeding the old 2007 mark by more than $2 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported last month.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the gains haven’t been shared by everyone, with the rich-poor divide widening. One study, by the Pew Research Center, estimates that the 7 percent of most-affluent households saw a 28 percent jump in wealth from 2009 to 2011, while everyone else got 4 percent poorer.

Why are affluent households doing better than the nation overall? Many factors are at play. In part, it’s a result of higher salaries and income generally. But there might also be attitudinal differences, including the ways wealthy people deal with risk and how they approach investing.

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