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Featured Advisor

Srbo Radisavljevic
Managing Principal/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management


State: IL

At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, following Chicago sports, enjoying ethnic cooking, and serving as a school board member for Norridge School District 80.

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Who Makes the Financial Decisions in Your Household? Here's How the UHNW Do It

It may be one of the most misquoted maxims that “money is the root of all evil.” What the New Testament says specifically is that “love of money is the root of all evil.” But according to many experts, money is the primary root of marital discord; more than sex, children, chores and work balance.

A 2015 Time magazine poll examining the money attitudes of Baby Boomers vs. Millennials found that the No. 1 source of marital money conflict for both generations was overspending on frivolous purchases. From here, the generations diverged on the source of money fights. For Baby Boomers it was a lack of emergency savings, followed by being too frugal. For Millennials, it was not understanding the family budget, followed by a lack of emergency savings.

Perhaps we can learn from Ultra High Net Worth households when it comes to household financial decision-making. According to a new Sprectrem Group study, UHNW couples are on the same page in regards to household finances

 “Financial Behaviors and the Investor’s Mindset,” a new Spectrem Group “Wealth Segmentation Series” study of Ultra High Net Worth households with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million (not including primary residence), finds that these households are most prone to pool finances. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) employ this money management strategy, while one-fourth pool their finances, but maintain individual accounts.

But who makes the decisions about these finances? In 46 percent of UHNW households, financial decisions are made jointly, the Spectrem Group study finds. In roughly half, the husband is the primary decision-maker.

Almost 90 percent of UHNW respondents are married, and in these elite households, spouses seem to be on the same page in regards to finances. On a scale of 0-100, on which 100 equals “total agreement,” respondents score their agreement at 86. Also telling is that these households consider the spouse to be almost as helpful as a financial advisor in making financial decisions.

Younger UHNW households are more prone to pool all household finances. Of the 63 percent of UHNW households overall who do, seven-in-ten are Millennials and Gen Xers, while 64 percent are Baby Boomers and 58 percent are World War II-era households. Conversely, the larger percentages of the 24 percent who pool finances but also maintain separate account are Baby Boomers and World War II-era households.

In these older households, it is more likely that the husband makes most of the financial decisions, according to the Spectrem study, but Millennials and Gen Xers comprise the largest percentage of UHNW households by age in which the wife makes most of the financial decisions (11 percent).

Regardless of age, there are high levels of agreement regarding finances, 89 on the 0-100 scale for Millennials and Gen Xers, and 86 for Baby Boomer and World War II-era households, respectively. When it comes to perceived helpfulness, however, Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely than previous generations to give the nod to their spouse over a financial advisor.

These younger households are also more likely than older UHNW investors to credit parents, friends, siblings and co-workers for their helpfulness in making financial decisions.

Takeaways for Investors: 

Though they are bound to occur, money conflicts can be minimized by spousal agreement on finances and establishing a decision-making process. What are the best ways to get to that point? Spectrem Group has asked Affluent households for their recommendations:


·         Open and honest communication. Three-fourths of Affluent respondents recommend that couples, prior to making a serious commitment, outline their financial goals and expectations and compare financial values. Ideally, this would involve creating a budget that would allow couples to achieve their goals, such as buying a house, paying for college, and saving for retirement.

·         Roughly 40 percent recommend premarital counseling as well as delaying having children until the couple feels financially secure.

·         One third counseled that couples should check their partner’s credit score and level of debt, while a near-equal percentage would suggest combining finances.

There was a telling gender divide in the prioritization of these recommendations. Eight-two percent of women—compared with 70 percent of men—proposed communication about finances prior to marriage. Four-in-ten (vs. 26 percent of men) said they would advise engaged couples to check their future spouse’s credit score and debt level. They were not so keen about delaying starting a family.

Men, meanwhile, were slightly more likely to recommend a couple live together to see if they were financially compatible (27 percent. vs. 24 percent)



©2017 Spectrem Group