Hartford, Conn. (July 3, 2003) -- Shaken by the effects of the bear market, wealthy investors are ready to recoup their losses, but how they’ll go about it varies greatly, according to a survey by The Phoenix Companies Inc. and Harris Interactive.

While the majority of respondents feel they have their savings under control, they’re increasingly concerned that they’ll outlive money for retirement (39 percent in 2003, up from 34 percent in 2002) and feel the need to make up for lost time saving for retirement (31 percent in 2003 from 27 percent in 2002). Nearly two-thirds said their most important overall financial goal is to assure a comfortable standard of living during retirement. Results of the Phoenix/Harris Interactive Wealth Survey were based on 1,496 online interviews with adults with a net worth of $1 million or more.

The survey identified six segments of wealthy individuals: The Deal Masters (11 percent) are the youngest and wealthiest. One-third have already achieved their major financial goals, and they’re interested in acquiring the greatest number of financial products over the next three years. Altruistic Achievers (17 percent) don't invest the time to properly manage their finances and rely heavily on others to assist them. This segment includes the most women. This group also lost the most in the bear market. They are highly motivated to make more money, but believe there’s no sense in attaining wealth without sharing it.

Secret Succeeders (17 percent) aren’t particularly financially savvy, but have come into money. For this segment, financial control is key -- they don’t want to part with their wealth. They believe they’re entitled to different treatment than the average consumer and are suspicious of showing their wealth out of fear they will lose it. Status Chasers (18 percent) have the lowest net worth of the segments ($2 million on average), have relatively little financial knowledge and lost close to a third of their portfolios in the past three years. Most don't have set goals or a formal plan, but do depend on a financial advisor. This group sees the biggest gap between what they perceive as "wealthy" and their own reality.

Satisfied Savers (24 percent) average the oldest in age, are self-made and have achieved wealth by setting goals and building assets through hard work and living below their means. This group is highly financially savvy and has lost relatively little in the bear market, due to a conservative portfolio. The Disengaged Inheritors (13 percent) are employed in the fewest numbers and are the least charitable. This group proclaims to be the least financially knowledgeable and owns the fewest number of financial products. Their wealth has been attained and maintained largely through inheritance, perseverance and living below their means.

-- WebCPA staff

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