The Affluent Market Research Program (AMRP), TNS’ annual survey of wealthy U.S. households, identifies the ten counties across America with the highest number of millionaire residents—including Los Angeles County, California, home to Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand, and Palm Beach County, Florida, home of Donald Trump’s famed Mar-a-Lago estate.
The mean net worth (not including the primary residence) for these households is $2,167,167; mean investable assets are $1,442,841. The median age for the head of the millionaire household is 58 years old, and almost 45 percent are retired. Approximately, percent own or share ownership of a professional practice or privately held business. Nearly 60 percent of millionaire households obtain investment advice from a professional advisor and over 73 percent prefer to do business at a single institution that brings together targeted specialists and services. When asked to identify their single most important financial goal, the leading response was, “to assure a comfortable standard of living during retirement.” Less important financial goals on the list include leaving an estate for heirs, protecting estate from taxes, minimizing income and capital gains taxes, improving household liquidity and charitable giving.
The number of U.S. millionaire households is on the rise. According to the survey, the number of households with more than one million dollars ($1MM) in net worth (excluding primary residence) rose in 2005 for the third consecutive year. This increase is due to long-term wealth accumulation, not new wealth creation or real estate investments (while real estate continues to be an investment portfolio staple, it is not the sole cause of wealth). Forty-six percent of millionaire households own investment real estate such as a second home, third home, rental properties and undeveloped land. Thirty-four percent have a first mortgage on these residences and 25 percent have second mortgages on these additional residences.
With the increasing number of millionaire households, comes an increasing confidence as over three-quarters of high-net worth households feel they will be financially prepared for retirement,” said Jeanette Luhr, manager of the research study. “These millionaire households understand that calculated risks are still a necessity within their portfolio design, however, over 50 percent have become much more conservative in their investment approach over the past year.”
These millionaires have been able to capitalize on their measured planning and active reinvestment to take advantage of economic changes over the past several years, such as the decrease in the average debt. Seventy percent of millionaire households own investments in stocks and bonds, 68 percent in mutual funds, and 58 percent in regular or Roth IRAs.
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