How Corporate Executive Investors Are Different From Others


No one will deny that the thinking that goes in America’s boardrooms is important to the economy of the United States, and that the executives involved in boardroom meetings have a unique way of looking at economic issues.

The same can be said of the way corporate executives view their investments, and how they deal with financial providers and advisors. How executives make decisions about their money matters to the people who work with them on their investments.

Spectrem’s quarterly wealth segmentation series examines a variety of topics surrounding investors and advisors, and segments the investors surveyed by occupation. Senior Corporate Executives are compared to Professionals (such as accountants, attorneys, physicians and dentists), Business Owners, and Managers.

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Millionaires, with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million, are asked to what they credit their wealth and Senior Corporate Executives (as well as Professionals) credit education more than any other factor. Executives are also more likely to credit smart investing, while they are less likely than those in other occupations to credit “taking risks” as a factor.

(Perhaps it is revealing that Senior Corporate Executives also credit “luck’’ more than those in any other occupation).

As it pertains to making investments, Senior Corporate Executives are outspoken about their higher than normal willingness to take risks. Asked about their “willingness to take significant investment risk on a portion of my investments”, 49 percent of Senior Corporate Executives agreed. By comparison, only 37 percent of Professionals and 35 percent of Managers agreed with that statement.

Millionaire executives also enjoy the task of making investments more than those in other occupations, and they self-report as being very knowledgeable about investing and financial issues.

It is also true that Senior Corporate Executives have a higher level of investigation into how they invest their money. Ninety-six percent say the level of risk is a factor, but 92 percent indicate diversity matters, 85 percent choose the reputation of the companies where investments are made, and 76 percent indicate the past track record of the investments are a factor. In each case, the Senior Corporate Executives show a greater percentage than the other occupations.

Conversely, only 18 percent of Executives consider the social responsibility of investments, and that percentage is far below the percentages reported by those investors in other occupations.

And why is that? Forty percent of Executives believe companies claiming social responsibility are doing so just to score good public relations points, and 39 percent believe corporations should concentrate on generating a profit, letting individual investors determine how they use the funds they get from their investments.

Executives have the most frequent conversations with their financial advisors. One-third of them speak to their financial advisor on at least a monthly basis.

The Internet has changed everything in life, and that includes how investors determine how they are going to invest their funds.  Senior Corporate Executives use the Internet for financial purposes more than investors in any other occupation.

While 51 percent of Millionaires watch financial commentators on YouTube, 70 percent of Senior Corporate Executives spend a part of their busy day doing just that. It’s the highest percentage of any occupation watching financial programming on the Internet in any form. 

The incidence of following advisors on social media is currently low. This may be due in part to advisors’ non-participation in these platforms due to compliance concerns. However, among Senior Corporate Executives, 15 percent follow their advisor on LinkedIn, once again the highest percentage among occupations.

Senior Corporate Executives are the segment most likely to do investment research on the Internet, and is also the occupational group most likely to buy or sell stocks via technology. They are also most likely to watch the markets online than those in other occupations. 

The executives are the most interested in reading financial and investment articles on all social media platforms, and are the only ones who would find Twitter articles to be interesting.