Approaches to wealth management vary by fortune. Find out what mega millionaire investors are looking for.
Millionaires are most likely to seek the services of a full-service broker, but those at the very top of the wealth pyramid are looking for different types of advice, according to the latest Millionaire Corner study, $25 Million Plus Investor 2012.
Attorneys, accountants and family office representatives play the most significant roles in managing the wealth of investors with a net worth of $125 million or more, according to our research, which shows that 14 percent of these mega millionaires consider a family office representative to be their primary advisor. Another 14 percent cites their attorney, and another 13 percent says their accountant is their primary advisor. In comparison, Millionaires with a net worth below $50 million are most likely to cite a full-broker (22 percent) or independent financial planner (18 percent) as their primary advisor.
Mega millionaires also express slightly different attitudes toward their financial advisors than millionaires with less than $125 million. They are most likely to feel the need to go to a number of different specialists because one company cannot meet all their financial needs. More than 60 percent of mega millionaire investors use three of more advisors and 24 percent use six or more, including private bankers, private trust officers, full-service brokers, investment managers and independent investment advisors.
Despite their reliance on multiple advisors, mega millionaire investors tend to retain complete control over the majority of their assets. Investors with $125 million or more manage 55 percent of their assets with no professional help, compared to 45 percent for $25 million plus investors as a whole. They are also more likely to say they have had a bad experience with an advisor. More than half (53 percent) report a bad experience, compared to 40 percent of $25 million plus investors as a whole.
The economic downturn has also driven a relatively large share of mega millionaire investors to work more closely with financial professionals. Forty-three percent are seeking more advice as a result of the recession, compared to 31 percent of total $25 million plus investors. Mega millionaires are also more likely to be amping up the amount of research they are doing on investments.
The richest investors also appear the least likely to stick with an advisor. About 56 percent of mega millionaire investors say that once they find an advisor or firm that satisfies their needs, they “usually don’t try new ones,” compared with 70 percent of total 25 million plus investors.