UHNW households are more primarily concerned about national financial issues rather than their own.
Ultra High Net Worth investors express more concern about national financial issues compared with their personal financial situation, according to a new Spectrem Group wealth segmentation study of households with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million.
According to Financial Behaviors and the Investor’s Mindset: UHNW Investors 2016, UHNW investors are more concerned about the political environment and government gridlock than they are about their personal financial situation. Now that each political party has its presumptive nominee, investors are focusing on these candidates and their economic views and policies.
Roughly nine-in-ten UHNW investors cite the political environment as their primary national concern. This is up slightly from last year. In comparison, 84 percent of Millionaires with a net worth up to $5 million cite the political environment as their primary national concern.
There is greater concern compared to last year that the nation’s political leaders cannot or will not work together to fix the country’s economic problems, especially in an election year. Eighty percent of UHNW investors cite government gridlock as their primary national concern, compared with 73 percent in 2015.
On the national front, UHNW investors are also expressing heightened concern compared with the previous year about terrorism (76 percent vs. 73 percent), stock market performance (77 percent vs. 68 percent), and the national debt (78 percent vs. 74 percent). Tax increases are a primary national financial concern among seven-in-ten (72 percent) UHNW investors.
More than half (56 percent) are worried the low savings rate interest because many are older and own bonds and other fixed income investments. Roughly half (48 percent) of UHNW are concerned about inflation and just over one-third (36 percent) are worried about an increase in interest rates. This has become a hot topic in recent years, as speculation about if or when the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates for the first time in a decade has roiled the markets. On June 6, Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced that the central bank would not raise short-term interest rates until the economic picture brightened. This announcement followed the release of the government’s closely-watched jobs report for the previous month, which found that employers had added only 38,000 jobs in May.
On the home front, UHNW investors indicate they are more concerned about health issues than financial ones. While just over four-in-ten indicate they are primarily concerned about their personal financial situation (44 percent, up from 38 percent in 2015) or their children or grandchildren’s financial situation (43 percent, down from 46 percent the previous year), more than half (55 percent) express the most concern about their spouse’s health. Half express concern about their own, while 48 percent are most concerned about spending their final years in a care facility. Four-in-ten are primarily concerned about having someone to take of them in their old age (44 percent) or assuming responsibility for their aging parents (41 percent).
Age is not a significant factor in what national financial issues concern UHNW investors. Millennials and Gen Xers, though, are significantly less concerned about the political environment and government gridlock than are Baby Boomers and World War II generation households. These younger investors are more concerned than their older counterparts about financing their children’s education, while the oldest UHNW investors express concern about health issues.
These findings indicate that while Ultra High Net Worth households may be immune to the daily financial pressures faced by less wealthy households, they do have “big picture” concerns about factors that could impact their financial situation over the long term.
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.