Does Wealth = Happiness?

6/1/2021

Does having money lead to greater happiness?  This is the age-old question contemplated by philosophers and chided by our mothers who told us otherwise.  But what do people with great wealth believe?  Does having greater wealth lead to happiness?

Spectrem conducted research with investors with more than $25 million of net worth (not including the value of their primary residence) and asked whether they attributed happiness to the wealth they had accumulated.  Overall, 72% of investors indicated that their happiness was attributable to their wealth.  This varied somewhat based upon age with 76% of Millennials and Gen Xers indicating that their wealth attributed to their happiness compared to only 65% of Baby Boomers.  Seventy-one percent of those in the WWII generation attributed their wealth to their happiness. 

The level of one’s wealth also had some impact on the amount that it was deemed to contribute to overall happiness.  Seventy-eight percent of those with more than $175 million of net worth indicated that their wealth contributed to their happiness compared to only 58% of those with $125 million to $175 million of net worth.  Similarly, 78% of those with $50 million to $125 million of net worth attributed their happiness to their net worth compared to 63% of those with $25 million to $50 million of net worth.  The difference in levels of happiness by net worth is not attributable to “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality but more likely just differences in the individuals sampled in each group.

However, that no group had 100% of individuals that attributed their happiness to their wealth…. meaning your mother was right….other things attribute to happiness as well.  But it seems that wealth may make it easier to be happy.