Ownership & Assets

Asset Building News Week, March 24-28

March 28, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include poverty, inequality, and financial services.
 

Just Published—The Assets Perspective

March 28, 2014
Publication Image I am very pleased to announce the publication of The Assets Perspective: The Rise of Asset Building and it Impact on Social Policy. It’s a 13-chapter edited volume which I worked on with Trina Shanks and a host of excellent contributors.
 
The book presents a multi-dimensional exploration of how the concept of asset building has taken shape over the last two decades. Many of the chapters were originally presented at a 2012 symposium designed to consider the impact of Michael Sherraden’s seminal book, Assets and the Poor, originally published in 1991. Sherraden’s insights, which focused on the factors that impact long-term socio-economic outcomes rather than short-term income or poverty, inspired a new generation of practitioners to apply the assets perspective to efforts creating new pathways up the economic ladder for families with low incomes and few resources. It was time to examine how the emergent “assets perspective” has impacted the way social policy is now conceived, designed, and delivered.
 
Topics covered in the book include the evolution of public assistance programs, the racial wealth gap, the impact of the Great Recession on the family balance sheet, the challenge of affordable homeownership, the history of financial services, children’s savings initiatives, and the potential of policy reform. Our goal was to produce a book that could serve as a valuable resource for those looking to learn more about the asset-building field and also how this framework is shaping contemporary policy discussions. It is designed to be relevant for those engaged in social policy and anti-poverty work, including practitioners, researchers, and policymakers alike.
 
Here is the table of contents:

Asset Building News Week, March 17-21

March 21, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the housing, economic mobility, and financial products.

Rebalancing the Scales

  • By
  • Rachel Black,
  • New America Foundation
March 19, 2014
The 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty naturally prompts reflection on how much progress has been made and how to chart a path forward. While there is a marked divergence in the diagnosis of poverty’s roots and the policy prescriptions necessary to address them, a consensus is emerging that new efforts are needed to promote opportunity, economic mobility and to ensure that the American Dream remains attainable.
 

Asset Building News Week, March 10-14

March 14, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the safety net, inequality, and financial services.

New Report: It Still Takes Money to Make Money

March 12, 2014
Publication Image On Tuesday, our colleagues at the Assets and Education Initiative at the University of Kansas released a new report called Harnessing Assets to Build an Economic Mobility Agenda. The key finding? It takes money to make money.

Asset Building News Week, March 3-7

March 7, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include children's savings accounts, the budget, and inequality.

Roth Accounts for Youth Savings

March 7, 2014
Publication Image While the notion of universal children’s savings continues to receive serious consideration at the highest levels of federal lawmaking, there is no formal plan on the table to promote CSAs and no guarantee that a plan will be adopted in the near future. Congress will need to consider a wide array of options before making a move on CSAs, a process that could take years. In the meantime, there continues to be a big gap in the financial-services marketplace for parents who want to save for their children.
  

The Financial Health Check: Building Behavioral Econ into Financial Coaching

March 6, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building Program released a paper today titled “The Financial Health Check: A Behavioral Approach to Financial Coaching.” The paper, coauthored by Antoinette Schoar, a professor at MIT, and Piyush Tantia, executive director at ideas42, presents the findings of a pilot organized by ideas42 to test the effectiveness of a new way of offering financial coaching called a “Financial Health Check,” or FHC. The new type of financial coaching differs from the traditional form of financial coaching in a number of ways. Perhaps most importantly, FHC attempts to adopt behaviorally informed strategies of simplicity and automation to maximize the utility of coaching time and eliminate key obstacles to successful interventions and increased saving.

Connecting Tax Time to Financial Security

  • By
  • Rachel Black,
  • Elliot Schreur,
  • New America Foundation
February 25, 2014
The ability to accumulate and access savings is a fundamental determinant of economic security for many families, especially those with low incomes and limited resources. Since every family’s circumstance is different, so too are their savings needs, which can range both in time horizon and flexibility of purpose. Current federal policy favors longer-term, targeted purposes, such as savings for retirement, leaving a void in policy supports for households whose savings needs are more immediate.
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