San Jose tops list of cities with best savers

Report: San Jose tops list of cities with best savers

Associated Press

When it comes to personal savings and investment, people in San Jose top all other Americans for putting money away for safekeeping, according to a new ranking by the investment firm A.G. Edwards.

The St. Louis-based company's "Nest Egg Index" released Monday looked at 318 metropolitan areas and ranked the top 200 based upon savings and investing habits. The company also ranked the 50 states, with New Jersey in the top spot.

Company officials say they looked at a dozen statistical factors ranging from participation in retirement savings plans to personal debt levels and home ownership.

San Jose notwithstanding, people on the East Coast were most inclined to save. Finishing a close second to San Jose was Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. Three of the top 10 saving metros were in top-ranked New Jersey – Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon (No. 3), Bergen-Passaic (No. 5) and Monmouth-Ocean (No. 7).

Others in the top 10 were San Francisco; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Barnstable-Yarmouth, Mass.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Rochester, Minn.

The index showed that people in the South are least inclined to save by a wide margin. In addition, major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Antonio failed to make the top 200.

"With the U.S. Department of Commerce reporting a negative national personal savings rate in October – its lowest level in decades – it's apparent that many Americans are not setting aside enough personal savings," said Robert Bagby, chairman and chief executive officer of A.G. Edwards.

Sophie Beckmann, a financial planning specialist at the company, said several factors determine how people build their nest eggs. Some are beyond a person's control such as economic trends and the cost of living.

"But other factors _such as starting early, participating in a retirement plan at work and keeping personal debt low – are based on personal choices that help foster financial security for individuals and families, regardless of where they live," Beckmann said.

Among the states, New Jersey was followed by Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The bottom five were Alabama at No. 46, followed by Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

A.G. Edwards used consumer data compiled by the marketing information firm Claritas and a cost of living measure from the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association.

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