Gen Xers are especially hung-ho about investing. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Millionaires in this age group enjoy being actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments
Non-Millionaire Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are more likely than their Millionaire counterparts to identify themselves as self-directed investors, according to a new demographic comparison study conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. A self-directed investor is one who makes all of their own investment decisions without the assistance of a professional financial advisor.
Gen Xers are especially hung-ho about investing. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Millionaires in this age group enjoy being actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments compared with 58 percent of Baby Boomers (Non-Millionaire Gen Xers, too, enjoy being hands-on with their investments more than do their older counterparts, 56 percent vs. 43 percent).
Wealth level and gender are significant factors in advisor usage, the study finds. Among Non-Millionaire Gen X and Baby Boomer men, the highest percentages identify themselves as self-directed (62 percent and 42 percent. This drops to 45 percent and 28 percent, respectively, of Millionaire Gen X and Baby Boomer men. The same is true for women, with 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively of Non-Millionaire Gen X and Baby Boomer women identifying themselves as self-directed investors vs. 26 percent and 19 percent, respectively, of their wealthier counterparts.
At the $1 million benchmark, advisor engagement increases. Among Millionaire Gen Xers, 39 percent identity themselves as event-driven investors, meaning they will seek out a financial advisor about a specific need or event, such as asset allocation advice or retirement planning. In comparison, just 22 percent of Non-Millionaire Gen Xers define themselves as event-driven investors. Similarly, almost one-third (31 percent) of Millionaire Baby Boomer men identify themselves as event-driven investors vs. 29 percent of Non-Millionaire Gen X men.
Almost three-in-ten (28 percent) of Millionaire Baby Boomer men describe themselves as advisor-assisted investors, meaning they regularly consult with a financial advisor regarding most of their investment needs, but still make most of the final decisions. Only 17 percent of Non-Millionaire Baby Boomer males have this level of engagement with their advisor.
Women in general self-report less confidence in their financial and investment knowledge and so are less likely than men to identify themselves as self-directed investors. Four-in-ten of both Non-Millionaire Gen X and Baby Boomer women seek out a financial advisor for a specific need or life event. But Millionaire Baby Boomer women are most likely to count themselves among the advisor-assisted (33 percent vs. 20 percent of Non-Millionaire women Baby Boomers. They are also more likely to rely solely on a financial advisor to make all their investment decisions than their Non-Millionaire counterparts (15 percent vs. 10 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.