U.S. Household Net Worth Increased 20% in a Year The booming stock market and real estate appreciation added trillions to American's net worth.

The Federal Reserve reported yesterday a nearly 20% boost in net worth among U.S. households, totaling more than $141 trillion dollars.

That’s the good news. The bad? Debt rose 7.9% as well.

The stock market and rising real estate prices account for the vast majority of the net worth boost, making those Americans who invest substantially richer than they were just a year ago.

About $3.5 trillion of the net worth gain came from a booming stock market. Real estate appreciation tacked on another $1.2 trillion in net worth growth.

Net worth is a measure of assets (ie: real estate, stocks, homes, etc) minus liabilities (debt). For instance, $500,000 in assets and $150,000 in liabilities equals a net worth of $350,000 ($500,000 – $150,000).

The 7.9% consumer debt grew the total amount of money owned by Americans to $17.3 trillion.