We're Saving Only 16% of Our Income
It better be, because that's the amount Americans are stashing away in savings every month, according to a study from the investment management firm Blackrock
The company says that more financial consumers are looking to protect their money in an investment environment they consider to be "high risk."
"U.S. investors continue to hold a sizable percentage of their assets in low- or no-return cash investments and expect to remain in this holding pattern with no major shift out of cash over the next year," Blackrock's Global Investor Pulse Survey says. "Despite rising concerns about meeting investment goals, most investors are stuck in place with current portfolio allocations."
That's good news for banks, which are seeing big inflows of cash in savings vehicle accounts such as certificates of deposit and money market accounts.
That makes it harder to save money for big life events, but even so investors are adamant about keeping investment risk at arms-length, Blackrock notes. All told, 48% of all individual investment assets are in cash, with 18% in stocks and 7% in bonds.
Half of U.S. investors in the study say the equity markets are just too risky, and roughly the same number say they "don't know" the best ways to build income through their financial investments.
That's likely why so many Americans are opting for the "sure thing" in putting so much of their money into bank savings vehicles and their notoriously low investment returns.
Additional data from Blackrock reveals why so many Americans are reluctant to bet on the stock market: They're burdened by debt and bills. In fact, the average U.S wage earner earmarks 49% of his or her take-home pay to paying bills, compared with 40% for the rest of the world.
Americans seem particularly anxious about rising health care costs, a concern that could rise give the rocky start of Obamacare this month, followed by job security and the "state of the U.S. economy," which continues to be precarious five years after the near collapse of the U.S. banking system and resulting recession.