Measuring the Health of Wealth in NJ [AUDIO]
New Jersey isn’t the place to live if you want to be rolling in the dough.
On a scale of 0 to 100 in the RegentAtlantic New Jersey Wealth Index (RANJWI), the Garden State scored a 35 in the third quarter of 2013. A score above 50 indicates a state with an above average environment for wealth creation.
While the state’s score grew by a record amount from the same time last year, the findings indicate a long way to go before New Jersey can be considered a healthy state for moneymaking.
The RANJWI looked at four major components: employment, home values, personal income and stock performance.
“New Jersey’s unemployment rate of 8.5 percent is one of the nation’s highest,” the report indicated. “Recent trends in job creation may be a positive, though, and may improve our outlook.”
RegentAtlantic’s Chief Investment Officer, Chris Cordaro, noted New Jersey has not enjoyed the housing price recovery seen in other parts of the country.
“Home prices have recovered, but very slightly from where they were,” Cordaro said. “You think about people’s personal wealth – a lot of their personal wealth, especially in New Jersey, is tied up in your home.”
Personal income in New Jersey, meanwhile, has continued to grow at a slow pace when compared to inflation, meaning consumers’ purchasing power has slightly declined.
New Jersey stocks, according to the report, have been the biggest contributor to wealth in the state.
“The Bloomberg State Index for New Jersey, which measures stock returns for public corporates with NJ Headquarters, has returned 15.7 percent per year over the past five years, materially outperforming the S&P 500, which gained 10 percent per year,” the report stated.