Millionaires Rebound From Recession in Record Numbers - March 13, 2014


Millionaires are coming back from the financial damage of the Recession in the best way they can — by adding more millionaires to their ranks than ever before.

The number of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more reached a new high in 2013 of 9.63 million, an increase of more than 600,000 from 2012, according to a report by Spectrem Group. The net worth amount doesn’t include the value of the primary residence.

The Recession reduced the number of millionaires in the United States to 6.7 million in 2008, though its population has grown ever since. Its previous high was 9.2 million in 2007, before the Recession started.

There are more rich Americans than ever because the stock market has rebounded so well since the Recession.

“Most of the financial damage done by the Recession has been erased by recent record-high markets in 2013 as well as continued rebound in the real estate markets,” says George H. Walper Jr., president of Spectrem Group, in a statement. “In terms of the affluent investor, it is fair to say they have finally recovered from the economic downturn.”

All classes of millionaires, and even those with $100,000 or more, are growing, according to the report:

  • Those with $100,000 or more in net worth climbed to a record high of 38.6 million from 37.4 million in 2012. The total had been at 31.2 million in post-recession 2008.
  • Those with $5 million or more in net worth also reached a record high of 1.24 million from 1.14 million in 2012. There were only 840,000 in 2008.
  • Those with $25 million or more in net worth grew by 15,000 to 132,000 in 2013. In 2008, there were 84,000 with $25 million or more in net worth.

To keep their wealth, if not regain it, most millionaires are investing in stock markets outside the United States, according to Spectrum. Their investments include individual stocks and stock mutual funds.

The group reported that 60% of investors with a net worth of $5 million or more intend to invest in equities this year, and 31% of those with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million intend to do so.

More than 50% of the $5 million-plus investors are willing to invest outside the U.S., with an increased interest in investing in China.

Not only have regular millionaires recovered from the Recession, but the wealthiest households have experienced almost 10% growth in income, and households with a net worth of $5 million or more are near 2005 levels in terms of investment in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

The report found that millionaires with a net worth of $25 million or more grew almost 10% from 2012 to 132,000 in 2013.The report found that millionaires with a net worth of $25 million or more — the highest incomes tracked in the report — were growing. There were 132,000 such households in 2013, an almost 10% increase of 15,000 from 2012.

In 2008 there were 84,000 such households, equating to a 48,000 increase since then in investors with a net worth of $25 million or more.

The financial concerns of millionaires may differ from others, but they may be alike in two areas: maintaining what they have and how their children are faring. The report found that 62% of millionaires are concerned about maintaining their current financial situation, and the same percentage are concerned about the financial situation of their children and grandchildren.

Those are at least two areas where millionaires and non-millionaires can agree: The importance of keeping your current income level, and how well your kids are doing.

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