Approximately 86 percent of millionaires in the U.S. believe themselves to be self-made, according to a new survey by Fidelity Investments.
The survey found that millionaires’ path to wealth, financial outlook and goals largely affected their investment behavior. Today’s millionaire is, on average, 61 years old with $3.05 million in assets. Seventy-four percent of the millionaires surveyed said they feel wealthy. Those who do not said they would need an average of $5 million of investable assets to begin feeling wealthy.
Eighty-six percent of today’s millionaires did not consider themselves to be wealthy while growing up, while only 14 percent said they grew up wealthy. Of those considered to be self-made millionaires, their top sources of assets included investments, capital appreciation, compensation, employee stock options and profit sharing.
Those who were born wealthy were more likely than the self-made group to cite inheritance, entrepreneurship and real estate investment appreciation as their asset sources. Self-made millionaires typically felt just as financially secure as those who were born wealthy.
Millionaires who were born wealthy were greater financial advice users who needed personal trust services and foundation and endowment management services.
When it comes to investment strategies, those who are self-made were more likely to add equity investments, while those who were born wealthy typically had more real estate investments. Asked about where they are currently investing, millionaires ranked individual domestic stocks as the No. 1 investment they added in the last year.
Thirty-five percent of millionaires had a negative outlook on the current financial environment, while 31 percent had a positive current outlook. The remaining 34 percent had a “neutral outlook.” Despite a lack of confidence in the current financial environment, those with a negative outlook still had a favorable outlook on future recovery.
While millionaires’ outlook on the current financial environment remains negative, their near-term confidence is on the rise, increasing by nearly 50 percent each year since 2009. Millionaires’ confidence in the future was driven by positive sentiment about business spending and consumer spending. Worries about the current financial environment stemmed from millionaires’ lack of confidence in the value of real estate, the economy and business spending.
Those with a negative outlook also were more actively receiving financial advice on topics such as general financial planning and retirement planning. The investment strategies of those with a positive outlook indicated that they have been more active in the stock market, while those with a negative outlook typically added more cash-like products.
When it comes to concerns about their financial future, the study found that 30 percent of today’s millionaires are concerned with preserving their wealth, while 20 percent are focused on growing their wealth. Other financial concerns, such as managing income flows in retirement, supporting the lifestyle they want in retirement and managing investments, made up the remaining 50 percent.
Those looking to generate more wealth were not driven by having less money or feeling less financially secure, as they were just as wealthy and just as financially secure as those who are looking to preserve their wealth.
Increasing wealth is not just for the young. Of those looking to generate wealth, nearly two-thirds were older boomers and seniors (61 percent).
Those who are looking to generate income appear to be more loyal to their financial advisors, with 71 percent of them likely to move with an advisor who switches firms. Income generators have been more active in the stock market and are more likely to add domestic bonds to their portfolios than those who are merely looking to preserve their wealth.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access