Younger Mass Affluent investors are taking control of a greater percentage of their assets than they were a year ago, according to a new wealth level study conducted by Millionaire Corner.
Investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence) said they control 56 percent of their assets without consulting a professional advisor, virtually unchanged since last year. But of these, investors younger than 55 said they control just over two-thirds (64 percent) of their assets. Last year, this age group said they controlled 61 percent.
Older investors are now more likely to be event-driven or advisor-assisted, meaning that they will either consult with a professional financial advisor for specific events or even on a regular basis, but they will stay make final investment decisions themselves. Baby boomers ages 55-64 said they consult with an advisor on a third of their assets, up from 28 percent in 2010, while seniors ages 65 and up consult with an advisor on 34 percent of their assets, up from 30 percent a year ago.
The percentage of assets that investors entrust completely to a professional advisor is basically unchanged since 2010. Overall, investors entrust 14 percent of their assets to an advisor’s complete control. Seniors give their advisors complete say on 16 percent of their assets.
This year was marked by extreme market volatility set against the background of a hostile political environment. The bruising debt ceiling debate, the unprecedented downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and the subsequent market selloff all were factors that most likely compelled these investors to take control of a greater percentage of their assets.
Not surprisingly, investors who identify themselves as self-directed control the highest percentage of their assets; 87 percent, while those who are advisor-dependent cede the highest percentage of their assets (44 percent) to a professional advisor.
Thirty-four percent of these investors consider themselves event-drivem, compared with 31 percent in 2010, while 22 percent identify themselves as advisor-assisted, up from 20 percent a year ago.
Investors at this wealth level are most likely to entrust a portion of their investments with an advisor either to compare their results with their own investing (19 percent) or for specific types of investments such as real estate or alternative investments (19 percent).
Fourteen percent said they are relying less on an advisor and making more financial decisions without professional assistance.(14 percent), and of these, nearly a quarter (23 percent) are younger than 55.
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.