This research identified the characteristics of respondents in different quintiles of the income distribution using data from the three most recent Surveys of Consumer Finances (1998, 2001, and 2004). Using multinomial logistic regression, each quintile was compared to the middle quintile of the income distribution (41st to 60th income percentile) for each of the three surveys. The findings can be used by financial advisors and educators to compare the characteristics of their clients and their target audiences with a national sample and to help clients assess their current situation. However, an important first step is to discuss with clients what they want to achieve because each client is likely to have different goals. Key Words: human capital, income quintile, life cycle hypothesis, Survey of Consumer Finances

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