Families are relying less on ads and the media to make investment decisions, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances.

The share of families going to these sources for investment expertise declined nearly a fourth in three years from 26.1 percent in 2010 to 21.3 percent in 2013.

Although more families in 2013 than three years earlier used the Internet for advice on where to put their money (35.3 percent vs. 28.3 percent), the greatest share of families seeking investment aid were putting their faith in their friends and family: 40.8 percent in 2013.

Wall Street’s post-recession surge helped push the average combined IRA and defined-contribution household balances up 16 percent in the 2010-2013 period to $147,300 for families who had these kinds of savings.

Households tapping financial advisors, including lawyers and accountants, for direction rose slightly in those three years to 31.8 percent.

The popularity of most types of financial assets among Americans stayed relatively stable during the period, save for CDs, which showed a drop off to 7.8 percent in 2013 from 12.2 percent in 2010. The Fed attributed the decline to low interest rates, which shrunk the advantage CDs had over traditional savings accounts.

While the economy has been improving, the share of families saving for their futures has not rebounded to pre-recession levels.

The proportion of all families who saved climbed to 53 percent in 2013 from 52 percent in 2010, but continued to lag behind the 56.4 percent rate in 2007 shortly before the economic collapse.

As student debt has risen significantly, the Fed notes the overwhelming majority of young families still have less than $25,000 in college loans to pay off -- 64.2 percent in 2013 compared with 78.2 percent in 2001.

Younger households with more than $100,000 in student debt remains a small but rapidly growing segment of their demographic at 5.6 percent last year compared with roughly one-half of one percent in 2001.