Gutter, M. S. (2000).Human wealth and financial asset ownership. Financial Counseling and
Planning, 11
(2), 9-19.

Human Wealth And Financial Asset Ownership

Michael S. Gutter 1

Investment decisions such as the choice to own risky assets should be related to the household’s
perception of total lifetime resources or wealth, which can be defined as the sum of net worth plus
human wealth. This article uses data obtained from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances to
provide an updated view of the total wealth of households in the U.S. This study shows that while
financial assets are a relatively large component of the available resources for households age 65
and over, half of the total sample has less than 1% of total wealth composed of investment assets.

Key words: Financial assets, Household portfolios, Investment, Survey of Consumer Finances,

Acrobat file of article

1. Michael S. Gutter, Assistant Professor, Department of Consumer Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1300 Linden Drive Room 370F Phone: (608) 262-5498 Fax: (608) 265-6048. Email: