According to the Federal Reserve, a hot stock market and recovering home prices boosted Americans' wealth to record levels in 2013's fourth quarter. However, both sectors have slowed this year.
Household net worth soared almost $3 trillion from October through December to $80.7 trillion. During that time span, stock and mutual-fund portfolios rose by $1.7 trillion, or 9 percent.
Meanwhile, the value of U.S. residences increased by more than $400 billion, or 2 percent. In 2013, home price appreciation was the greatest in eight years, which helped many people rebuild some of the ownership stakes in their homes. The equity that Americans have in their homes has reached 51.7 percent, the highest point since prior to the recession and up from an all-time low of 36.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009.