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Advisors Take Note: Millionaires Tired of Handling Investments

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Millionaires just aren’t having as much fun managing their own money these days. Not only that, they’d rather that someone else did it for them—so says a new Spectrem Group study, “Millionaire Investors 2011, Vol. 1,” released Tuesday.

The bloom is off the investing rose for fully 18% of millionaires—those with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million, not counting their primary residence—just since 2010. That’s how far the percentage has fallen of those who say they enjoy being involved in the daily management of their assets. In 2010, 65% said they liked to be actively involved in caring for their investments, compared with only 47% in 2011. If 2011 is compared with 2009, the numbers have fallen even farther: 69% of millionaires back then took pleasure in managing their own assets.

And the ultra-high-net-worth? Same story. Of those with a net worth of $5 million to $25 million, not counting their primary residence, only 50% want a hands-on approach. That’s fallen from 63% who wanted to do it themselves in 2010 and 67% in 2009.

Among those who do dive in, fewer enjoy it, and would not mind giving it up. Sixty-four percent of millionaires in 2009 got a kick out of managing their own funds; in 2011, that had fallen to 45%. Among the UHNW, the 63% who cheerily tended their own accounts in 2009 were down to 54% in 2011.

George H. Walper, Jr. (left), president of Spectrem Group, said in a statement, “Millionaires’ desire to roll up their sleeves and get involved with their own investments has declined substantially since 2009, following a period of intense vigilance and participation during the financial crisis. Wealthy Americans may simply be experiencing investor fatigue, prompting them to pull back and allow their advisors to take the lead in managing their assets.”


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