Net worth climbs as stocks recover, rises 1.3% in 4Q - USATODAY.com WASHINGTON American households saw their wealth increase at the end of last year, mainly because the healing economy boosted stock portfolios. The Federal Reserve said Thursday that household net worth rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter to $54.2 trillion. It marked the third straight quarter of gains. Net worth rose 4.5% in the second quarter of 2009 and an even stronger 5.5% in the third quarter. Net worth is the value of assets such as homes, checking accounts and investments minus debts like mortgages and credit cards. Even with the gain, Americans' net worth would have to rise an additional 21% to get back to its pre-recession peak of $65.9 trillion. That shows the vast loss of wealth people have suffered from the worst downturn since the 1930s So the Net Worth of Americans have gone up 11.3% in the last three quarters of 2009. This translates to an increase of over $6 trillion in the last year. It should be noted that Americans lost $18 trillion in net worth in the last years of the Bush administration How is that "Hopey/Changey" working out for ya??