Worries of the Wealthy


“Money doesn’t buy happiness” is a phrase that has been around for a very long time and is often used to illustrate that happiness comes from within, not from a balance in bank accounts, investments, or material possessions. What this phrase doesn’t cover however is if money eliminates worries. Are financial worries eliminated when investors reach a net worth in excess of $5 million? Do these Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) investors not have personal concerns as a result of having that level of wealth?

Personal and financial concerns don’t vanish when an investor amasses over $5 million in net worth, according to recent research with this segment of investors from Spectrem Group. These investors are actually more concerned than investors of lower levels of wealth on certain topics, showing clearly that wealth does not eliminate concerns. What are some of the biggest concerns UHNW investors have?

The current political environment is the biggest national concern for UHNW investors. This is followed closely by concerns regarding inflation, and the tensions with Russia. It is not surprising with the concern regarding Russia that concerns regarding the war in Ukraine is next on the list of concerns. Tensions with China round out the top five national concerns for UHNW investors. Investors at this level of wealth, and all levels of wealth, are not insulated from global issues or inflation.

Wealth does not insulate an individual from personal concerns either. Health issues, both for the individual and their spouse, are the greatest personal concerns for investors, regardless of wealth level. An equal concern for UHNW investors is the potential of having to spend their final years in a long-term care facility. These investors may not have to be concerned about how to pay for that facility, but they are still concerned about having to need care in their final years. Not only are investors concerned about themselves needing to go to long-term care, but they are also concerned about potentially needing to take care of someone else in their old age.

Interestingly, despite the level of wealth that these investors have, another one of their greatest personal concerns is the ability to maintain their current financial position. These investors are also concerned about desiring to use their wealth to help others. This concern is much higher among UHNW investors than those at lower wealth levels. Financing the education of their grandchildren is also a greater concern for UHNW investors than those at lower wealth.

No amount of investments, savings, or net worth will insulate investors from global and personal concerns. Financial providers need to ensure they are addressing the concerns of UHNW investors and provide guidance and peace of mind to investors regarding these issues.