401(k) Participants Invest in Equities
The average U.S. household invests about 55 percent of its 401(k) or other defined contribution plan assets in common stocks. Many Americans are investing all or nothing in equities, due to a host of factors, including education level and marital status, according to a new analysis of government data by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a consulting firm. The analysis found a wide variation in investment behavior. While almost 20 percent of working households allocated nothing to equities in their retirement accounts, more than 25 percent were “all in,” allocating 100 percent of their defined contribution plan assets to equities. Various factors are correlated with the likelihood of 401(k) plan participants’ investing in equities, according to the analysis. Plan participants who are younger, better educated, risk-tolerant, in the private sector with a pension plan and who engage in long-financial planning hold a larger share of equities in their retirement accounts then do others.
Small Businesses Help Avoid Recession
The U.S. small business economy showed better than expected growth, suggesting that small business owners may have played a pivotal role in helping the country steer clear of recession. The average small business in the U.S. increased in size by 0.3 percent. Average small business salaries dropped 0.1 percent, further eroding small business employee purchasing power at a time when gas and food prices are rising. The average annualized small business employee salary is $32,528.07. On a regional basis, the Midwest, Northeast and South experienced hiring growth, however, the West did not. Average salaries declined in all four regions, with the largest salary drops occurring in the South. On a year-to-date basis, each region except the West remains in positive territory with respect to hiring.
It’s Okay to Share Political Views at Work
Talking politics has long been considered taboo at the office, but a new survey, developed by OfficeTeam, shows workers aren’t afraid to play pundit at work. Sixty seven percent of respondents said engaging in political debate is acceptable, within reason. Another 14 percent actually invite these conversations, and four in 10 workers polled said discussing political campaigns and candidates is common practice. Thirty nine percent said they often discuss the upcoming presidential election and campaigns while on the job, while only 2 percent said they do not discuss political campaigns at work.