Attention FAE Customers:
Please be aware that NASBA credits are awarded based on whether the events are webcast or in-person, as well as on the number of CPE credits.
Please check the event registration page to see if NASBA credits are being awarded for the programs you select.

Want to save this page for later?

NextGen Magazine


Fed Study: Americans Under 40 Experienced Higher Increase in Wealth After the Pandemic

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Feb 7, 2024

GettyImages-918508630 Money Dollars Gain Income Wealth Stats Charts Graphs

Younger adults’ wealth increased multifold over those of previous generations since 2019, Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers reported.

The aggregated wealth of adults under 40 jumped by 80 percent in that time, compared to 10 percent for those between 40 to 54, and 30 percent for those over 55.

The Fed economists attributed this to two factors: The under-40 generation received much of the COVID-19-era fiscal stimulus, giving them extra savings to invest in equities, and they also held more equities in their portfolios, “the fastest-growing financial asset class during the period,” the researchers wrote, which enabled them to increase their financial assets and overall wealth.

But Bloomberg reported that there is a catch: Stocks are risky investments that could quickly reverse wealth growth if markets fall.

On the other hand, the Fed researchers found that younger adults, who are further away from retirement, “can afford to invest in risky assets at a higher rate than older adults.”

The researchers also found a slight narrowing of wealth disparities across age groups since 2019, likely due to younger American’s expanded ownership of financial assets.

Still, as Bloomberg pointed out, there remains a great gulf between the collective wealth of younger Americans and that of older ones. The Fed report states, "As of 2019, individuals under 40 years old held just 4.9 percent of total U.S. wealth despite comprising 37 percent of the adult population. Conversely, individuals over age 54 made up a similar share of the population and held 71.6 percent of total wealth."