Weathering Volatility 2.0: A Monthly Stress Test to Guide Savings

In this report, the JPMorgan Chase Institute uses administrative bank account data to measure income and spending volatility and the minimum levels of cash buffer families need to weather adverse income and spending shocks.

Inconsistent or unpredictable swings in families’ income and expenses make it difficult to plan spending, pay down debt, or determine how much to save. Managing these swings, or volatility, is increasingly acknowledged as an important component of American families’ financial security. This report makes further progress toward understanding how volatility affects families and what levels of cash buffer they need to weather adverse income and spending shocks. 

A Scan of Municipal Financial Capability Efforts

As the connection between financial capability and social mobility is made evident, both public and private actors are increasingly interrogating the drivers of personal financial health and investing in the innovation of products and services designed to improve the condition of economically vulnerable individuals.

This high-level scan of existing U.S. financial capability initiatives and the ways they fit together lends insight into the role that cities and their core institutions can play in promoting residents’ personal economic growth. This study, funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and executed by Urbane Development (UD), leverages
primary and secondary research to explore features of the broad range of programs and policy efforts that make up the financial capability landscape of the U.S. This examination focuses particularly on programs deployed by and within municipalities.


Trading Equity for Liquidity: Bank Data on the Relationship Between Liquidity and Mortgage Default

For many, homeownership is a vital part of the American dream. Buying a home represents one of the largest lifetime expenditures for most homeowners, and the mortgage has generally become the financing instrument of choice. For many families, their mortgage will be their greatest debt and their mortgage payment will be their largest recurring monthly expense.

In this report, we present a combination of new analysis and previous findings from the JPMorgan Chase Institute body of housing finance research to answer important questions about the role of liquidity, equity, income levels, and payment burden as determinants of mortgage default. Our analysis suggests that liquidity may have been a more important predictor of mortgage default than equity, income level, or payment burden.

Paychecks, Paydays, and the Online Platform Economy Big Data on Income Volatility

This report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute digs deeper into the demographics and sources of income volatility and provides an unprecedented look at the impact of the Online Platform Economy. This analysis relies on high-frequency data from a randomized, anonymized sample of 1 million Chase customers between October 2012 and September 2015. To examine the Online Platform Economy, we assembled the largest sample of platform workers to date—a dataset of over 260,000 individuals who have offered goods or services on one of 30 distinct platforms

Savings for the Future Solving the Savings Puzzle for Low Income Households

People manage their money in a variety of different ways, sometimes in ways that others fail to understand, but that work well for them. The research in this new report focuses on one of those ways: informal saving.

Informal saving can take many forms: saving in cash at home (sometimes literally in jam jars), careful spending and shopping, letting a current account balance mount up, savings stamps and over-payment on prepayment meters. However, there has been very little research carried out into what motivates people to save informally. This report plugs that gap. In so doing we find that low income individuals and households employ a variety of informal savings techniques that help them to be more financially resilient, particularly with budgeting and preparing for unforeseen expenses.

Overall this report helps to dispel the myth that people on a low income do not have savings methods or personal techniques to build financial resilience. 

The Monthly Stress-Test on Family Finances

Paychecks, Paydays, and the Online Platform Economy Big Data on Income Volatility

Weathering Volatility: Big Data on the Financial Ups and Downs of U.S. Individuals