Affluent investors look more toward their financial advisors to boost their financial literacy as their wealth increases.
Financial literacy is the foundation on which individuals build toward a financially secure future.
The 2008 economic collapse was a wake-up call for millions of Americans to become more engaged with their personal finances. Spectrem Group research consistently finds that among Affluent households, the biggest financial fear is running out of money in retirement, while the biggest financial regret is not saving enough toward their retirement.
Several national studies have found the state of America’s financial literacy to be sorely lacking, although Americans tend to give themselves above average grades. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s 2015 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, roughly 60 percent of U.S. adults give themselves an A or B on their knowledge of personal finance. But some of the study’s key findings suggest they are grading on a curve:
· Less than half (roughly 40 percent) have a budget and keep track of their spending. This proportion has held steady since 2007.
· Nearly three-in-ten do not save any portion of their household’s annual income toward retirement savings.
· While 33 percent of U.S. adults carry credit card debt from month to month
Financial Literacy; Do the Rich Know Something We Don’t?, a new Spectrem Group White Paper, examines the attitudes of Affluent households about how they perceive their financial knowledge. How do they rate themselves? How important is financial knowledge to them? Who and what are they consulting to gain this knowledge?
Wealthier households tend to put greater stock in being financially literate concerning financial products and investments. When asked by Spectrem Group how important their financial knowledge is to them, half of Millionaires surveyed responded that it was “extremely important,” compared with just 27 percent of non-Millionaire households with a net worth of less than $100,000.
How do Affluent investors get smart? According to Financial Literacy; Do the Rich Know Something We Don’t, Affluent investors look more toward their financial advisors to boost their financial literacy as their wealth increases. These elite investors place more importance on their advisor’s advice and less on financial information obtained through family or friends or their own independent research. Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million rank the helpfulness of their financial advisor in making financial decisions 70 on a scale of 0 to 100. In comparison, non-Millionaire investors rank their financial advisor’s helpfulness a 63 (their spouse ranks at 68!)
How do they prefer to get their financial information? A majority (54 percent) of 21st century Millionaire investors still prefer to get their financial information the old fashioned way; by reading an article, while nearly four-in-ten prefer in person to someone. Almost one-third opt toward watching a video. Of these, the highest percentage primarily watches financial information videos, followed by videos created by financial commentators, and videos on current financial events. They are less interested in watching videos devoted to stock tips.
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.