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Saving is income not spent, or deferred consumption. Methods of saving include putting money aside in, for example, a deposit account, a pension account, an investment fund, or as cash.Saving also involves reducing expenditures, such as recurring costs. In terms of personal finance, saving generally specifies low-risk preservation of money, as in a deposit account, versus investment, wherein risk is a lot higher; in economics more broadly, it refers to any income not used for immediate consumption.
Income is the consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms.
Consumption, defined as spending for acquisition of utility, is a major concept in economics and is also studied in many other social sciences. It is seen in contrast to investing, which is spending for acquisition of future income.
A deposit account is a savings account, current account or any other type of bank account that allows money to be deposited and withdrawn by the account holder. These transactions are recorded on the bank's books, and the resulting balance is recorded as a liability for the bank and represents the amount owed by the bank to the customer. Some banks may charge a fee for this service, while others may pay the customer interest on the funds deposited.
Saving differs from savings. The former refers to the act of not consuming one's assets, whereas the latter refers to either multiple opportunities to reduce costs; or one's assets in the form of cash. Saving refers to an activity occurring over time, a flow variable, whereas savings refers to something that exists at any one time, a stock variable. This distinction is often misunderstood, and even professional economists and investment professionals will often refer to "saving" as "savings" (for example, Investopedia confuses the two terms in its page on the "savings rate").
Economics, business, accounting, and related fields often distinguish between quantities that are stocks and those that are flows. These differ in their units of measurement. A stock is measured at one specific time, and represents a quantity existing at that point in time, which may have accumulated in the past. A flow variable is measured over an interval of time. Therefore, a flow would be measured per unit of time. Flow is roughly analogous to rate or speed in this sense.
Investopedia is an American website based in New York City that focuses on investing and finance education along with reviews, ratings and comparisons of various financial products such as brokerage accounts.
In different contexts there can be subtle differences in what counts as saving. For example, the part of a person's income that is spent on mortgage loan principal repayments is not spent on present consumption and is therefore saving by the above definition, even though people do not always think of repaying a loan as saving. However, in the U.S. measurement of the numbers behind its gross national product (i.e., the National Income and Product Accounts), personal interest payments are not treated as "saving" unless the institutions and people who receive them save them.
A mortgage loan or, simply, mortgage is used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or alternatively by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose, while putting a lien on the property being mortgaged. The loan is "secured" on the borrower's property through a process known as mortgage origination. This means that a legal mechanism is put into place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property to pay off the loan in the event the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms. The word mortgage is derived from a Law French term used in Britain in the Middle Ages meaning "death pledge" and refers to the pledge ending (dying) when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure. A mortgage can also be described as "a borrower giving consideration in the form of a collateral for a benefit (loan)".
The national income and product accounts (NIPA) are part of the national accounts of the United States. They are produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce. They are one of the main sources of data on general economic activity in the United States.
Saving is closely related to physical investment, in that the former provides a source of funds for the latter. By not using income to buy consumer goods and services, it is possible for resources to instead be invested by being used to produce fixed capital, such as factories and machinery. Saving can therefore be vital to increase the amount of fixed capital available, which contributes to economic growth.
To invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit in the future.
In economics and accounting, fixed capital is any kind of real, physical asset that is used in the production of a product but is not used up in the production. It contrasts with circulating capital such as raw materials, operating expenses and the like. It was first theoretically analyzed in some depth by the economist David Ricardo.
Economic growth is the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or real GDP.
However, increased saving does not always correspond to increased investment. If savings are not deposited into a financial intermediary such as a bank, there is no chance for those savings to be recycled as investment by business. This means that saving may increase without increasing investment, possibly causing a short-fall of demand (a pile-up of inventories, a cut-back of production, employment, and income, and thus a recession) rather than to economic growth. In the short term, if saving falls below investment, it can lead to a growth of aggregate demand and an economic boom. In the long term if saving falls below investment it eventually reduces investment and detracts from future growth. Future growth is made possible by foregoing present consumption to increase investment. However savings not deposited into a financial intermediary amount to an (interest-free) loan to the government or central bank, who can recycle this loan.
A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction when there is a general decline in economic activity. Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in spending. This may be triggered by various events, such as a financial crisis, an external trade shock, an adverse supply shock or the bursting of an economic bubble. In the United States, it is defined as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the market, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales". In the United Kingdom, it is defined as a negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters.
In macroeconomics, Aggregate Demand (AD) or Domestic Final Demand (DFD) is the total demand for final goods and services in an economy at a given time. It is often called effective demand, though at other times this term is distinguished. This is the demand for the gross domestic product of a country. It specifies the amounts of goods and services that will be purchased at all possible price levels.
In a primitive agricultural economy savings might take the form of holding back the best of the corn harvest as seed corn for the next planting season. If the whole crop were consumed the economy would convert to hunting and gathering the next season.
Classical economics posited that interest rates would adjust to equate saving and investment, avoiding a pile-up of inventories (general overproduction). A rise in saving would cause a fall in interest rates, stimulating investment, hence always investment would equal saving.
Classical economics or classical political economy is a school of thought in economics that flourished, primarily in Britain, in the late 18th and early-to-mid 19th century. Its main thinkers are held to be Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Robert Malthus, and John Stuart Mill. These economists produced a theory of market economies as largely self-regulating systems, governed by natural laws of production and exchange.
In economics, overproduction, oversupply, excess of supply or glut refers to excess of supply over demand of products being offered to the market. This leads to lower prices and/or unsold goods along with the possibility of unemployment.
But John Maynard Keynes argued that neither saving nor investment was very responsive to interest rates (i.e., that both were interest inelastic) so that large interest rate changes were needed to re-equate them after one changed. Further, it was the demand for and supplies of stocks of money that determined interest rates in the short run. Thus, saving could exceed investment for significant amounts of time, causing a general glut and a recession.
Within personal finance, the act of saving corresponds to nominal preservation of money for future use. A deposit account paying interest is typically used to hold money for future needs, i.e. an emergency fund, to make a capital purchase (car, house, vacation, etc.) or to give to someone else (children, tax bill etc.).
Within personal finance, money used to purchase stocks, put in an investment fund or used to buy any asset where there is an element of capital risk is deemed an investment. This distinction is important as the investment risk can cause a capital loss when an investment is realized, unlike cash saving(s). Cash savings accounts are considered to have minimal risk. In the United States, all banks are required to have deposit insurance, typically issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC. In extreme cases, a bank failure can cause deposits to be lost as it happened at the start of the Great Depression. The FDIC has prevented that from happening ever since.
In many instances the terms saving and investment are used interchangeably. For example, many deposit accounts are labeled as investment accounts by banks for marketing purposes. As a rule of thumb, if money is "invested" in cash, then it is savings. If money is used to purchase some asset that is hoped to increase in value over time, but that may fluctuate in market value, then it is an investment.
In economics, saving is defined as post-tax income minus consumption.The fraction of income saved is called the average propensity to save, while the fraction of an increment to income that is saved is called the marginal propensity to save. The rate of saving is directly affected by the general level of interest rates. The capital markets equilibrate the sum of (personal) saving, government surpluses, and net exports to physical investment.
Finance is a field that is concerned with the allocation (investment) of assets and liabilities over space and time, often under conditions of risk or uncertainty. Finance can also be defined as the art of money management. Participants in the market aim to price assets based on their risk level, fundamental value, and their expected rate of return. Finance can be split into three sub-categories: public finance, corporate finance and personal finance.
Financial capital is any economic resource measured in terms of money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or to provide their services to the sector of the economy upon which their operation is based, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc.
An interest rate is the amount of interest due per period, as a proportion of the amount lent, deposited or borrowed. The total interest on an amount lent or borrowed depends on the principal sum, the interest rate, the compounding frequency, and the length of time over which it is lent, deposited or borrowed.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is one of two agencies that provide deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. depository institutions, the other being the National Credit Union Administration, which regulates and insures credit unions. The FDIC is a United States government corporation providing deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. commercial banks and savings institutions. The FDIC was created by the 1933 Banking Act, enacted during the Great Depression to restore trust in the American banking system. More than one-third of banks failed in the years before the FDIC's creation, and bank runs were common. The insurance limit was initially US$2,500 per ownership category, and this was increased several times over the years. Since the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2011, the FDIC insures deposits in member banks up to US$250,000 per ownership category.
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money of 1936 is the last and most important book by the English economist John Maynard Keynes. It created a profound shift in economic thought, giving macroeconomics a central place in economic theory and contributing much of its terminology – the "Keynesian Revolution". It had equally powerful consequences in economic policy, being interpreted as providing theoretical support for government spending in general, and for budgetary deficits, monetary intervention and counter-cyclical policies in particular. It is pervaded with an air of mistrust for the rationality of free-market decision making.
Personal finance is the financial management which an individual or a family unit performs to budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risks and future life events. When planning personal finances, the individual would consider the suitability to his or her needs of a range of banking products or investment private equity, and insurance products or participation and monitoring of and- or employer-sponsored retirement plans, social security benefits, and income tax management.
A savings and loan association (S&L), or thrift institution, is a financial institution that specializes in accepting savings, deposits, and making mortgage and other loans. The terms "S&L" or "thrift" are mainly used in the United States; similar institutions in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries include building societies and trustee savings banks. They are often mutually held, meaning that the depositors and borrowers are members with voting rights, and have the ability to direct the financial and managerial goals of the organization like the members of a credit union or the policyholders of a mutual insurance company. While it is possible for an S&L to be a joint-stock company, and even publicly traded; in such instances it is no longer truly a mutual association, and depositors and borrowers no longer have membership rights and managerial control. By law, thrifts can have no more than 20 percent of their lending in commercial loans — their focus on mortgage and consumer loans makes them particularly vulnerable to housing downturns such as the deep one the U.S. experienced in 2007.
The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of 1,043 out of the 3,234 savings and loan associations in the United States from 1986 to 1995: the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) closed or otherwise resolved 296 institutions from 1986 to 1989 and the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) closed or otherwise resolved 747 institutions from 1989 to 1995.
In finance, leverage is any technique involving the use of debt rather than fresh equity in the purchase of an asset, with the expectation that the after-tax profit to equity holders from the transaction will exceed the borrowing cost, frequently by several multiples — hence the provenance of the word from the effect of a lever in physics, a simple machine which amplifies the application of a comparatively small input force into a correspondingly greater output force. Normally, the lender will set a limit on how much risk it is prepared to take and will set a limit on how much leverage it will permit, and would require the acquired asset to be provided as collateral security for the loan. For example, for a residential property the finance provider may lend up to, say, 80% of the property's market value, for a commercial property it may be 70%, while on shares it may lend up to, say, 60% or none at all on certain volatile shares.
The wealth elasticity of demand, in microeconomics and macroeconomics, is the proportional change in the consumption of a good relative to a change in consumers' wealth. Measuring and accounting for the variability in this elasticity is a continuing problem in behavioral finance and consumer theory.
The paradox of thrift is a paradox of economics. The paradox states that an increase in autonomous saving leads to a decrease in aggregate demand and thus a decrease in gross output which will in turn lower total saving. The paradox is, narrowly speaking, that total saving may fall because of individuals' attempts to increase their saving, and, broadly speaking, that increase in saving may be harmful to an economy. Both the narrow and broad claims are paradoxical within the assumption underlying the fallacy of composition, namely that which is true of the parts must be true of the whole. The narrow claim transparently contradicts this assumption, and the broad one does so by implication, because while individual thrift is generally averred to be good for the economy, the paradox of thrift holds that collective thrift may be bad for the economy.
Capital formation is a concept used in macroeconomics, national accounts and financial economics. Occasionally it is also used in corporate accounts. It can be defined in three ways:
Under-capitalization refers to any situation where a business cannot acquire the funds they need. An under-capitalized business may be one that cannot afford current operational expenses due to a lack of capital, which can trigger bankruptcy, may be one that is over-exposed to risk, or may be one that is financially sound but does not have the funds required to expand to meet market demand.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to finance:
Asset and liability management is the practice of managing financial risks that arise due to mismatches between the assets and liabilities as part of an investment strategy in financial accounting.
This article provides background information regarding the subprime mortgage crisis. It discusses subprime lending, foreclosures, risk types, and mechanisms through which various entities involved were affected by the crisis.
A global saving glut is a situation in which desired saving exceeds desired investment. By 2005 Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, expressed concern about the "significant increase in the global supply of saving" and its implications for monetary policies, particularly in the United States. Although Bernanke's analyses focused on events in 2003 to 2007 that led to the 2007–2009 financial crisis, regarding GSG countries and the United States, excessive saving by the non-financial corporate sector (NFCS) is an ongoing phenomenon, affecting many countries. Bernanke's "celebrated " global saving glut (GSG) hypothesis argued that increased capital inflows to the United States from GSG countries were an important reason that U.S. longer-term interest rates from 2003 to 2007 were lower than expected.
Precautionary saving is saving that occurs in response to uncertainty regarding future income. The precautionary motive to delay consumption and save in the current period rises due to the lack of completeness of insurance markets. Accordingly, individuals will not be able to insure against some bad state of the economy in the future. They anticipate that if this bad state is realized, they will earn lower income. To avoid adverse effects of future income fluctuations and retain a smooth path of consumption, they set aside a precautionary reserve, called precautionary savings, by consuming less in the current period, and resort to it in case the bad state is realized in the future.