There were an estimated 107,000 U.S. households with more than $25 million of net worth at the end of 2011. A new wealth level study of these households conducted by Millionaire Corner finds the Ultra-Wealthy in a questioning mindset with heightened concerns about the direction of the country and the economy.
Who are the Ultra-Wealthy? This is the first in a series of articles that examines the demographic make-up, attitudes and behaviors of this wealth segment.
With a median age of 60, Ultra-Wealthy households are slightly younger than other millionaire wealth segments. The average age of Ultra High Net Worth households with a net worth between $5 million and $24.9 million (not including primary residence) is 67, while the median age of households with a net worth between $1 million and $4.9 million is 63.
Eighty-six percent of Ultra-Wealthy respondents attribute their financial success to hard work
Just over half (52 percent) are still working, according to our study, with 21 percent semi-retired. In comparison, 60 percent of Ultra High Net Worth households are retired. Almost one-quarter (24 percent) of the Ultra-Wealthy indicate they will never retire. The largest percentage of this wealth level (27 percent) identified themselves as entrepreneurs and business owners. Fifteen percent are senior corporate executives.
Eighty percent of respondents credited education with their financial standing. All respondents said they were high school graduates. More than nine-in10 have college degrees, while 29 percent possess an MBA and 20 percent have another advanced degree.
Other key factors to which the Ultra Wealthy attribute their success are smart investing (76 percent), taking risk (74 percent), being in the right place at the right time (69 percent), frugality (63 percent) and luck (53 percent).
More than half (53 percent) credit their parents’ example and teachings. A significant majority consider themselves self-made multi-millionaires. Just under one-third (32 percent) credit their wealth to inheritance, while just over one-quarter (26 percent) credit family connections.
In part two, we will examine the Ultra-Wealthy’s attitudes toward the economy and their primary concerns regarding national and financial household issues.
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.