Smart investing ranks as a top wealth-building factor for the nation’s millionaire investors, according to new report from Millionaire Corner.
Millionaires say “smart investing” is one of the top three factors contributing to their financial success, according to the 2012 Affluent Market Insights released today by Millionaire Corner.
Hard work and education also count among the top wealth building factors for investors with a net worth of $1 million to $25 million, the report shows. Less affluent investors – those with a net worth of $100,000 up to $1 million known as the Mass Affluent – give more weight to their abilities to save, rather than invest, when it comes to building wealth. These non-millionaires rank “frugality” among their top three wealth building factors, and place smart investing as fourth in significance.
“Less affluent investors tend to believe they can save their way to riches, and this attitude complements their generally more conservative investment stance,” says Catherine McBreen, president of Millionaire Corner. “High net worth investors tend to have a better appreciation of the role that calculated risk plays in building wealth.”
More than 60 percent of Ultra High Net Worth investors – those with a net worth of $5 million to $25 million – identify taking risk as key to building wealth, an opinion shared by only 39 percent of the Mass Affluent. (Millionaire Corner defines net worth as wealth not including primary residence.)
Smart investing begins with an understanding of a number of personal investment factors, including attitudes towards risk, also known as risk tolerance, and financial goals such as purchasing a home, saving for college and retiring, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA. The agency recommends investors establish time frames for reaching their goals, and also assess their current net worth, as well as their debt obligations, calculate their cash flow, set aside an easily accessible emergency fund and review their credit score and its impact on household finances.
Smart investing also draws on basic concepts such as asset allocation, or investing wealth across a range of financial products. The practice requires an understanding of basic assets classes, such as stocks, bonds, savings accounts, real estate and precious metals, and the subclasses within these categories. Stocks, for example, can be broken down by market size, industry sector and style.
An investor who has a good understanding of available financial products can optimize the strategy of diversification, a tool highly prized by millionaires. Diversification refers to the practice of investing across a wide range of asset classes that perform independently of each other. In a strategically diversified portfolio, gains in one asset class can offset losses in another.
High net worth investors often go beyond the basics of smart investing by pursuing more aggressive strategies, such as day trading. They also have access to alternative investments, including hedge funds, venture capital and private equity.
Millionaire Corner research shows that Millionaires and Ultra High Net Worth Investor have sizable real estate holdings and, while they like to be actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments, also maintain long-standing and close working relationships with financial professionals.