Savings: 5 signs Americans are forgetting the lessons of 2008

Declining savings is one of five signs that American households are forgetting the lessons of the Great Recession:

3. Financial asset values have fallen in most categories

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    A customer stops at a Bank of America ATM office in Boston in December. The amount of money in checking, savings, an d retirement accounts have all declined since 2007.
    Charles Krupa/AP/File
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The median household value of transaction accounts (checking, savings, etc.), retirement accounts, and certificates of deposit have all declined since 2007. These types of assets are also some of the most common – held by 93 percent, 50 percent, and 12 percent of American families, respectively.

Consumers may be further deterred from storing excess funds in such accounts due to notoriously low yields. Very few institutions, barring high yield savings accounts at online banks and some local community banks or credit unions, are managing to offer competitive rates.

Meanwhile, the median value of other asset categories, namely stocks, pooled investment funds, and bonds, has seen a boost. Unfortunately, it’s likely that high net worth households are driving the increase rather than those in financial trouble.

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