How do financial advisors help high net worth investors maintain their peace of mind?
The concept of happiness, one supposes, is akin to jazz and Louis Armstrong’s oft-quoted explanation, “If you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.”
But whatever it is, America’s wealthiest are feeling it, according to Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner wealth level studies. Forty-four percent of high net worth households with a net worth of at least $5 million report being “very happy,” compared with 37 percent of Millionaires with a net worth up to $4.9 million and just 24 percent of those with a net worth of less than $100,000.
“Don’t worry, be happy” may well apply to America’s high net worth. For nine-in-ten of high net worth investors previously surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, being rich means having greater security. They are significantly less concerned about primary personal financial concerns that impact daily life than their less wealthy counterparts, according to a new Millionaire Corner study of financial advisor usage, client satisfaction and loyalty.
Just four-in-ten of the wealthiest households surveyed said that maintaining their current financial position is a concern, vs. 60 percent of Millionaires and 69 percent of non-Millionaires with a net worth of at least $100,000.
Just over half (52 percent) are concerned about the financial situation of their children or grandchildren vs. 58 percent of their less wealthy cohorts.
Retirement, too, is significantly less of a concern for high net worth households. Just 20 percent said they are concerned about being able to retire when they want. Non-millionaires surveyed are nearly three-times as likely to rank this as a primary personal financial concern (56 percent).
High net worth respondents are personally more concerned about health care issues, Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) consider health care costs to be the biggest threat to their retirement security (in comparison, taxes rank a distant second at 52 percent)
Among health care issues, the health of one’s spouse is of heightened concern among America’s wealthiest (60 percent), followed by their own health (53 percent) and spending their years in a health care facility (44 percent). A higher percentage of less wealthy households cite these issues as primary personal financial concerns.
Beyond financial resources, there is a correlation between peace of mind and advisor usage. Nearly nine-in-ten of affluent study respondents who rely solely on an advisor for all of their investment decisions or consult frequently with one report overall satisfaction with their services
The main benefit they report in working with a financial advisor is that it improves their knowledge of investing, Millionaire Corner research finds. The wealthiest investors put a high premium on financial knowledge, and rank smart investing just behind hard work and education as the factors most integral to achieving their success.
And with knowledge and an improvement in their investment returns comes peace of mind, a benefit to working with a financial advisor cited by nearly six-in-ten of Millionaire households.
How are Affluent investors utilizing the services of financial advisors to help maintain this piece of mind? A majority are using them to diversify assets away from a concentrated position (54 percent), establishing an investment planning or asset allocation policy (53 percent) or selecting individual stocks, bonds or mutual funds (52 percent).
Nearly half (49 percent) are seeking the advice of a financial advisor to plan for retirement, while 46 percent seek to set up a financial plan.
Related: Spectrem's MIllionaire Corner Best Financial Advisors service
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.