The Investors Who Enjoy What They Are Doing



There are all sorts of investors.

There are those who make their investments and then leave them alone. There are those who invest their funds then check on them only occasionally. And there are those who stay atop the investments, checking them daily and fretting over their performance.

Among that last group, there are those who are really enjoying themselves in the process.

Spectrem’s wide-ranging research on affluent investors routinely asks respondents how they feel about investing. Investors are asked “Do you enjoy investing?” and then are asked to rate themselves on their knowledge of financial products and investments.

Why does this matter?

Active investors are more likely to want to have more contact with their advisors, and are more likely to be knowledgeable about investment options. 

 “It is important to know the level of involvement an investor is going to have in the process of investing and increasing their portfolio,’’ said Spectrem President George H. Walper Jr. “Those that enjoy the process are probably the ones most interested in hearing about new investment opportunities.”

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In Spectrem’s quarterly wealth segmentation study Financial Behaviors and the Investor’s Mindset, enjoyment in investing ranged from 59 to 77 percent of all Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million. The range was dependent upon age; the group most likely to report enjoying themselves in investing were those between the ages of 49-54. The low end age segment were those between the ages of 55 to 64.

Among those UHNW investors, 90 percent report either being very or fairly knowledgeable about financial products and investments.

Among Millionaires, with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million, the enjoyment factor follows the UHNW pattern based on age. Those 36-44 are most likely to express enjoyment (63 percent) while those 65 and over are the least likely to do so (45 percent). Eighty-three percent of Millionaires claim to be fairly or very knowledgeable about investments and financial products. 

It makes sense that investors who seldom or never use advisors would express the greatest pleasure out of their own investing. While 63 percent of all UHNW investors enjoy investing, 76 percent of self-directed investors, those who never use a financial advisor, report enjoying the process of making and watching investments.

There is also a difference in enjoyment related to occupation. Senior corporate executives are far more likely (74 percent) to report enjoying investing than professionals (doctors, lawyers and the like, 55 percent).   

There appears to be a generational growth in the pleasure that comes from investing. In Spectrem’s study The Investing Habits of Millennials, the newest generation to come into money expressed the greatest pleasure in investing when compared to previous generations.

Among Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997), 64 percent of those with more than 41 million in net worth enjoy investing. That compares to 55 percent of Gen X-ers (born 1965-1980), 52 percent of Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and 54 percent of World War II investors (born prior to 1964).


By the way, those Millennials are less certain of their investment knowledge than older generations. Among Millennials, 17 percent consider themselves very knowledgeable and 41 percent claim to be fairly knowledgeable about investments and financial products. For comparison, 23 percent of Baby boomers are very knowledgeable and 55 percent are fairly knowledgeable when it comes to investing.