Americans saw their net worth decline by $1.7 trillion in the first quarter, as declines in home values and the stock market ravaged their holdings.
The net worth of U.S. households fell 3% to $56 trillion at the end of March, according to the Federal Reserve's flow of funds report, which was released Thursday.
The drop marks the second straight decline in net worth, which fell by more than $500 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. Until then, net worth had risen steadily since 2003, climbing nearly 31% over those five years. During the bear market of 2000 through 2002, household's net worth dropped 6.2%.