Millionaires are in the vast majority self-made, and how they made their wealth has a bearing on the way they view and handle their finances, a new survey from Fidelity says.
The survey, covering 1,000 millionaire households, found that 86 per cent are self-made. Furthermore, it found that this group is the most confident about the future financial outlook since the survey began in 1996. On a scale between -100 and +100, millionaires’ future financial outlook stands at +39.
However, their views about the current financial environment remain negative, at -29.
Among the survey’s findings is that “today’s millionaire” is, on average, 61 years old with $3.05 million in assets. Just under three-quarters of millionaires feel they are wealthy, with those who don’t feel wealthy citing $5 million on average as the golden figure that would make them feel rich.
Of the self-made wealthy, their top sources of assets were investments and capital appreciation, compensation and employee stock options or profit sharing, according to Fidelity. Those who were born wealthy were more likely than the self-made wealthy to cite inheritance, entrepreneurship and real estate investment.
The two groups’ investment styles were also slightly different, with people who were born with wealth erring toward real estate, while the self-made wealthy cited equities more often. People born wealthy were also more accustomed to using financial advice, as they made the most of services like personal trust and foundation/endowment management.
Unsurprisingly, the survey also found that the millionaires with more negative opinions about the financial outlook were drawn toward cash-like products, while the more positive millionaires were more active in the stock market.
Finally, the responses contradicted the idea that the younger generation are wealth builders while the older generation are mainly interested in preserving their lifestyle, as of those looking to generate more wealth, nearly two-thirds were older baby boomers or seniors.