A job, an education, a savings account, a home. These are the ingredients that determined the quality of the life America has promised for so long.
There remains a strong belief among wealthy investors that these ingredients still hold value as part of the core beliefs that propel American citizens.
In our wealth segmentation series study Financial Behaviors and the Investor’s Mindset, we asked wealthy investors to rate the value of statements related to home ownership, saving money, jobs and education. The statements received strong support from all investors, although there are variations based on wealth segment.
Comparing responses between Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million and Millionaires with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million, the UHNW investors had a higher positive response to the question about home ownership and having a savings plan. The Millionaires had higher regard for the questions about young adults working through their higher education years.
“At the end of the Great Depression, America reaffirmed the core beliefs that held the principals of American life,’’ said Spectrem president George H. Walper Jr. “This study asked the questions to determine if those principals are still dear to the hearts of the affluent investor.”
The statement that received the highest positive response from Millionaires stated “Getting a college education is very important”. On a 0-to-100 scale, where “0’’ indicated not important and “100’’ indicated very important, that statement averaged to 85.65 among Millionaires. Ultra High Net Worth investors went even higher, to 88.24.
Whether a college education leads to Millionaire status is not a certainty, but 82 percent of Millionaires graduated from college, and 41 percent went on to get advanced degrees. Eighty-three percent of Millionaires credited education as a factor in their wealth creation.
Millennial Millionaires rated the college education statement much lower (77.31) and in fact rated all core belief statements much lower than average.
The statement receiving a similar level of support in the study stated “a dedicated and regular savings program is something I consider very important”. Among Millionaires, that statement rated 84.14 on average. Among UHNW investors, that statement rated 85.52. It was this statement in which Millennials were farthest off from the average, with a rating of only 71.59.
There was as slight dip among Millionaires in regards to the next statement. “Purchasing a home as your primary residence is a very prudent financial decision” was rated at 81.51 (slightly higher again among UHNW investors). Ninety-four percent of Millionaires own their own home, although that percentage is down below 80 percent among Millionaires under the age of 36.
The rating dropped below 80 on average in regards to the statement “Working is very important for older teenagers, including perhaps working during high school and college years”. That statement got a rating of 78.99, and was only 77.27 among UNHW investors.
Finally, the statement “A college student should finance most of his/her education or be responsible for paying back his/her student loans’’ got a rating from Millionaires of 62.92, and a rating of only 55.35 for UHNW Investors. It can be assumed the children of UHNW investors might not need to finance or pay back their own education costs.