chapter  5
18 Pages

—DEBT AND SAVINGS

If America had very high personal savings, then the value of stock holdings would be less of a concern. But the savings rate in America has dropped steadily since the early 1980s; it now stands at an all-time low of virtually zero (see Figure 5-2). Optimists will argue that the savings rate is no longer valid because it doesn’t include money put into stock mutual funds, an increasingly common practice for American households. Should we consider the stock market as a form of savings, like certificates of deposit or money market funds? The logical answer is that we probably should count some of the money going into stocks as savings, perhaps 50 percent, but not all.