Self-directed ultra high net worth investors mange roughly half of their assets without help from a financial advisor.
The majority of wealthy investors enjoys investing and would not want to give it up, according to wealth level research conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. Nearly six-in-ten (57 percent) like to be actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments.
On average, ultra high net worth investors manage about half of their assets without professional assistance, according to a new Spectrem study of households with a net worth between $5 million and $24.9 million (not including primary residence). The report, “Advisor Relationships and Changing Advice Requirements,” further finds these wealthy investors consult a professional advisor about one-third of their assets, but still make the final financial decisions themselves.
The remainder allows a financial advisor to completely manage just under 20 percent of their assets without any input from them.
Across age groups, wealthy investors under the age of 55 are the most hands-on with their portfolio. They report controlling 56 percent of their assets with no professional help. Seniors 65 and up are the most likely to consult with a professional advisor in some capacity. They manage less than half (46 percent) of their assets.
The wealthiest segments (with a net worth between $15 million-$25 million), too, are most likely to entrust the highest percentage of their assets (29 percent) to a professional advisor without any input from them.
With great wealth comes great confidence in one’s financial acumen. Three-fourths of ultra high net worth households said the primary reason for not using a financial advisor is that they could do a better job of investing than a professional. This mindset is heightened among older investors ages 65 and up (82 percent).
These more engaged investors put a premium on financial knowledge. Eight-in-ten report that they feel there is much more and much better information available to them regarding investments.
What are the primary reasons that would compel wealthy investors to seek out a financial advisor? The highest percentage (39 percent) said a situation where they got tired of managing their investments, while 18 percent said a situation where they could get professional help for what they feel is a fair price.
This is a key consideration even for the wealthiest of households. A majority (52 percent) said they find the services of a professional advisor to be very expensive, while only 30 percent said they are “relatively unconcerned” about the fees they pay (as long as their assets are growing).
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.