A decade ago, most Americans had little idea how their financial future would shape up, much less how they would spend it.
And those who did, it was generally assumed, would pay little more than their share.
They were expected to spend the same amount or more on things like groceries, housing, food and rent than the rest of us.
But in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and with the financial crisis finally catching up with many Americans, the country is starting to see the value of having some control over the things you own and spend.
And, as more and more Americans enter the workforce and the economy begins to heal, they are becoming increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of change and the way the government has failed to rein in Wall Street and the wealthy.
For most of the past decade, the financial industry has been a major source of economic growth and job creation, with the economy growing by more than 3 percent annually.
The stock market has been the most popular form of investment for decades, with people investing in it more than a quarter of the time in the past.
And now, thanks to the rise of the internet and mobile devices, the industry is expected to grow at nearly twice the pace of the economy.
That has led some people to argue that, for the first time in a long time, it’s time to start thinking about what it means to be an investor.
And some companies are starting to take notice.
On the one hand, investors like to believe that they are investing in a safe, secure future, and they are also happy to have a financial institution to back them up.
But the reality, according to research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, is that most investors aren’t investing in things that actually matter.
Instead, they’re focusing on things that are already profitable and will generate more revenue in the future.
“We’re seeing a growing recognition that the traditional financial industry is not necessarily a good fit for most investors,” says Matt Levine, who heads the firm’s Center for the Study of Financial Institutions.
“People are getting nervous about the potential of what’s going to happen if people start investing in stocks, bonds, commodities, etc., instead of the businesses and services they really want.”
The main driver of this fear is the financial sector’s ability to be a powerful lever for Wall Street.
According to a 2016 study from the Boston Business School, a majority of investors hold about 1 percent of the market, compared to about 15 percent for the entire economy.
In addition, the share of financial professionals in the US workforce is projected to grow to about 50 percent by 2035.
And according to a new study by the Wall Street Journal, the top 10 percent of American earners now make nearly $1.5 million per year, compared with about $400,000 in the 1970s.
“In the old days, we could afford to buy stocks in the stock market,” says David Sosinsky, who runs Sosinks investment advisory firm.
“Now, if you can’t afford to take out a mortgage, your investment portfolio will be much smaller.”
So far, there are two main reasons why investors are scared of investing in the financial system.
The first is the recent spike in the cost of borrowing.
The cost of servicing debts is skyrocketing in recent years.
That is because more and longer-term loans are increasingly becoming the norm, and investors are increasingly looking for ways to save for the future without paying interest.
The second is that the cost for investing in companies has been on a steep rise in recent decades.
And that has left many investors fearful about what could happen when a major financial institution goes under.
As the cost to service a mortgage has gone up, the risk of default on a big loan has skyrocketed, as investors worry that the company will default on its debt if it’s not paid back in full.
In other words, the banks that were once considered safe haven’t been able to keep their assets safe and solvent for very long, and the risks have increased.
For investors, this is a real risk.
“The biggest concern is what happens when the banks go under,” says Sosinski.
“When the banks get taken over by the government, that’s the big one.
The government can then take over the banks and take their money.”
It’s also a real concern for investors who are invested in companies like Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
“You can’t go into an investment company without thinking about the bank,” says Levine.
“That is the big concern.
They have a big influence on the economy.”
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