Who Is the Mass Affluent Investor


Mass Affluent investors, households with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence) comprise the largest percentage of Affluent households, according to our new first quarter wealth segment research. There are nearly 30 million Mass Affluent investors in the U.S., up from just over 24 million in 2007.

Financial Behaviors and the Investor’s Mindset profiles the Mass Affluent investor and examines their financial outlooks, national and personal concerns, what they perceive their investor knowledge to be, their attitudes toward investing, advisor usage and risk tolerance, and other factors that will better enable financial advisors to better serve these investors who have only modest confidence in their financial knowledge. The largest percentage, our new study finds, consider themselves only “fairly knowledgeable” about financial products and investments.

Who is the Mass Affluent investor? The average age is 58 years-old. The largest percentage are Baby Boomers (68 percent) ages 52-70. Eighteen percent are Gen Xers ages 36-51, while 10 percent are from the WWII generation ages 71 and above. Just five percent are Millennials ages 35 and under.

Almost half of Mass Affluent investors have a net worth between $750,000 and $999,999, with the remainder evenly split between those with a net worth between $100,000 and $499,999 and those with between $500,000 and $749,999 (26 percent each). Just over half of these investors consider themselves to be wealthy.

As with wealthier households, the Mass Affluent puts a high premium on their education, rating it second only to hard work as the primary factor in their wealth creation. All surveyed Mass Affluent investors have completed high school, while 72 percent have a college degree. Roughly one-fourth have earned an advanced degree, such as an MA or PhD.

Six-in-ten Mass Affluent investors are still working, while 31 percent are retired. Two-thirds are two-income households. The largest percentage works as managers. The next most common professions among the Mass Affluent are educators and professionals (such as doctors and lawyers).

The least advisor-dependent wealth segment indicates it is looking for guidance. Mass Affluent investors are more likely than their Millionaire and Ultra High Net Worth counterparts to identify themselves as self-directed, meaning they make all of their financial and investment decisions on their own. But beyond their modest perceptions about their financial knowledge, there has been an uptick this year in Mass Affluent investors who indicate that getting adequate help and advice that will allow them to reach their financial goals is more of a concern to them.