The average American consumer is 45% poorer because of the financial crisis, according to a survey released by the Federal Reserve. How did this happen? Consumers suffered losses due to the falling values of their homes, cars and financial assets like stocks and retirement accounts.

How bad was the damage? According to Bloomberg, here are the major hits to household net worth -- assets minus debts -- during the recession, which officially ran from December 2007 to June 2009:
  • The median family's net worth fell 23.2% from $125,000 to $96,000;
  • The S&P 500 fell 57%;
  • The S&P/Case-Shiller index of housing prices in 20 cities dropped 32%.
Of course, that net worth decline hurts. But if you have a job, at least you can pay your bills. Unfortunately, 8.9% of Americans don't have jobs right now. And for those who do, median income has fallen 8.1% in the last decade. Meanwhile, gasoline is up 70 cents a gallon in the last year as rising food prices -- including 12.2% stealth inflation -- take a bigger bite out of declining paychecks.

Net worth declines are particularly painful for those expecting big bills -- like a $52,000-a-year college tuition or paying for retirement. And with such a big drop in net worth, the urgency of regaining lost ground could hardly be greater.

What Can You Do About It?

My best advice is to buy stocks. That's because of stunning corporate health. In 2010, profits hit a record $1.66 trillion. And 2011 revenue growth prospects of 7% for the S&P 500, with near-record 19.8% operating margins, bode well for earnings potential. All this profit growth has not yet been factored into stock valuations, which currently trade at a P/E of around 15 -- far below the P/E of 19.7 typical of previous bull markets.

Those who have been burned by stocks over and over will, no doubt, be reluctant to place that bet. Unfortunately, however, there is not much else to turn to if you hope to make up for lost ground since "safe investments" like money market funds are, in fact, yielding far less -- about 0.03% -- than the 1.7% rate in the last quarter of 2010.

Moreover, with the possibility that the Fed could raise interest rates to control inflation -- which it may do if wages start to rise -- bonds are a bubble poised to pop. When interest rates go up, bond prices drop.

I find the most efficient strategy for investing in stocks is to buy an S&P 500 stock index fund that has a low expense ratio. Since few mutual funds can regularly beat the market averages, you have a pretty good chance of keeping up with the 26.5% average annual rise in stock prices we've enjoyed since January 2009.

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Dereck

Major Fraud Alert


The entire Federal Banking System under FirstGov has been "Consumed" and "Levied" by way of a Maryland State Circuit/District Court Ruled “Appropriation and Garnishment” of all Future Earnings prior to and after 2004 against Bank Of America by way of the F.D.I.C. Regulations Prohibiting failing Banks from Merging with other failing Banks between the Dates of 08/04/08 and 10/09/09.

Bank of America violated the 21st Century Act: Final Amendments to Regulation CC Section: http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/press/bcreg/2004/20040726/attachment.pdf

seeking reimbursement of Credit, Loan, and Finance Balances as a "Bank Entity" and not a "Nonbank Consumer" as specified on Pages 85 and 86.

The person they sued through a LLC. Debt Collection Company and Law Firm was the "World Fortune Owner" who "Counterclaimed" and won.

Now all Contracts of any Corporations (Including Employment) under the "Controlling Interest" of any Investment Bank Worldwide are "Null and Void", and are also under the stipulated Rules and Regulations of an "Closely-held S Corporation rendering all Employed under Legal Actions against “Domination”, and also means that "No Corporation can hold Shares" officially making every Stock Exchange on the Planet a "Ponzi Scheme" by default.

Businesses owned by the States (Public Corporations) are being sold Stock Shares by Corporations also under the Federal Banking System in this Worldwide "Ponzi Scheme". The World Fortune Company Merrick Inc. Sweden is dissolving Millions and Billions of Dollars from "All Levels of Government"in the U.S. of Financing based upon Years of "negligent inaction" involving this case.

The Federal Government has already been forced to discontinue supplying the Financing States use to pay their debts, Persons in Government Offices may want to begin to take their jobs more seriously, these are different times from 10 Years ago and you will not be accepted civil servants here just because you say you are here to do the right thing.

May 29 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

Last night President Obama addressed this nation. Obama will unite us and inspire us & provide concrete plans coupled with effective intelligent solutions as he has done so often in the past. Let us not forget the market is up over 4000 points since Bush left and Obama took office & the oncoming depression was avoided and Obama saved this nation

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/f4R6dP

March 29 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sbfeibish

Danger. Danger. Warning Will Robinson!
Don't take this article at face value.
As legendary investor Jim Rogers says, "Do your homework".
Whatthe author hasn't mentioned will fill a book.

March 29 2011 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
caged1

really bameing obama? lets see this article is about the loss of 45% of the value of the dollar, for you republcn idiots that meansit takes about $1.60 to buy what $1 bought last yearso hence the increased spending. now i do agree we need to not spend as much so lets start withour two wars inherated by obama, lets just pul out and come home and that would save 1/3 the defict imediatly,lets cut spending on substitys to big bussiness, lets cut the idea we are the worlds police. you republicanswant tostay ihe wars and remain the worlds police and your answer is to cut social spening here at home, you argue that somehow american workers are greedy and want to much. now other countries who arnt the worlds police can give there citizens health care and a retirement, republicans dont seem to get that middle class people are under attack, we dont want a hand out we want what we paid for our whole working lives it was our generation that paid for our weath over the last 50 yers and now when its just our turn to be paid back somehowwe are at fault face it we dont want more than our fair return on our lifetimes work we just want to knowthat the cuts are shared by the rich, the politicans big bussiness

March 29 2011 at 3:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kitharris1

he said buy stocks. but he failed to mention vote in a conservative!

March 29 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Randy

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently came to the aid of the American people when it called out President Obama for misleading the public about THE TRUE LEVEL of the national debt.

And he didn’t miss the mark by a small amount.

President Obama has underestimated future budget deficits by a shocking $2.3 trillion, according to the CBO.

In fact, the CBO believes that in the years ahead the interest we have to pay on our debt will surge from the current $214 billion a year tab to over $1 trillion annually.

So, if that’s only the interest we owe . . . just imagine how bad the total debt will be!

The mainstream media seems to be ignoring the problem.

But even Obama’s own party is
beginning to see the gravity of the situation.

Recently, 64 senators signed a letter to Obama that demanded he get the deficit under control. And amazingly, 32 of those politicians were Democrats.

So you know it’s serious when Obama’s former supporters on Capitol Hill are beginning to turn their back on him in droves.

But what’s truly worrisome is that the president does not seem overly concerned. And neither does his partner in spending over at the Federal Reserve — Ben Bernanke.

You need to know THE REAL STORY about the monetary missteps and suspect dealings among the White House, ruthless big bankers, and influential insiders that have put our economy and your wealth at risk.

March 29 2011 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

Last night President Obama addressed this nation. Obama will unite us and inspire us & provide concrete plans coupled with effective intelligent solutions as he has done so often in the past. Let us not forget the market is up over 4000 points since Bush left and Obama took office & the oncoming depression was avoided and Obama saved this nation

March 29 2011 at 3:19 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to fpfp040408's comment
kitharris1

let us not forget the market stood at 14000 when pelosi and harry took over congress. only after nancy got voted out of the speakers job has it come back so strongly. most of us know democratis can't run anything correctly. go conservatives . yea boy!!!

March 29 2011 at 3:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Randy

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently came to the aid of the American people when it called out President Obama for misleading the public about THE TRUE LEVEL of the national debt.

And he didn’t miss the mark by a small amount.

President Obama has underestimated future budget deficits by a shocking $2.3 trillion, according to the CBO.

In fact, the CBO believes that in the years ahead the interest we have to pay on our debt will surge from the current $214 billion a year tab to over $1 trillion annually.

So, if that’s only the interest we owe . . . just imagine how bad the total debt will be!

The mainstream media seems to be ignoring the problem.

But even Obama’s own party is
beginning to see the gravity of the situation.

Recently, 64 senators signed a letter to Obama that demanded he get the deficit under control. And amazingly, 32 of those politicians were Democrats.

So you know it’s serious when Obama’s former supporters on Capitol Hill are beginning to turn their back on him in droves.

But what’s truly worrisome is that the president does not seem overly concerned. And neither does his partner in spending over at the Federal Reserve — Ben Bernanke.

You need to know THE REAL STORY about the monetary missteps and suspect dealings among the White House, ruthless big bankers, and influential insiders that have put our economy and your wealth at risk.

March 29 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fixitright73

fpfp040408............whats wrong with the poop word? its as natural apple pie and its a energy source, we all do it all the time and what a release it is, its like money down the tube so to speak

March 29 2011 at 2:05 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to fixitright73's comment
fpfp040408

Ima = to ask one politely not to use foul language is not silencing someone. It is called basic common decency, courtesy, effective communication, respect, . One who resorts to foul and inappropriate words illustrates a lack of both intelligence and education. It is absurd to say that asking one to not use inappropriate language as an act of stifling free speech, one does not use that language in church, at social gathering, in school , at work, etc, leave gutter talk where it belongs , in the gutter.

March 29 2011 at 2:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fpfp040408's comment
fixitright73

how many times during the coarse of, lets say, brain surgery, does the neurosurgeon say the poop word?

March 29 2011 at 2:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

Last night President Obama addressed this nation. Obama will unite us and inspire us & provide concrete plans coupled with effective intelligent solutions as he has done so often in the past. Let us not forget the market is up over 4000 points since Bush left and Obama took office & the oncoming depression was avoided and Obama saved this nation
********* OBAMA === 2012 *********** >>>>> A SURE THING <<<<<

March 29 2011 at 2:04 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to fpfp040408's comment