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UBS report flags financial concerns of the high-net-worth

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Fifty percent of millionaires with $1 to 5 million in assets fear that one major setback, such as a job loss or market crash, would negatively impact their lifestyle.

So reports UBS in the 11th edition of its “Investor Watch,” a survey of 2,215 U.S. millionaires. The investors have at least $1 million in net worth, including 610 with at least $5 million in net worth.

“This heightened fear is even more prevalent among millennial millionaires, who although having made their fortunes at a younger age, feel even more pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ compared to other generations,” the report states.

Investor Watch finds that more than three-quarters of millionaires (77 percent) grew up middle class or below. Achieving affluence was a “conscious aim:” 6 in 10 (61 percent) aspired to become millionaires; and 65 percent believed that reaching the $1 million mark was “an important milestone.” Nearly three-quarters of millionaires (74 percent) surveyed say they have “made it.” And 85 percent attribute their success to hard work. Forty-four percent said hard work was the single most important factor in becoming a millionaire.

The report observes that satisfaction with life rises in tandem with net worth. More than 7 in 10 (73 percent) of those with $1 – 2 million reported being “highly satisfied” with their life compared to 78 percent of those with $2 – 5 million and 85 percent of those with $5+ million.

Millionaires recognize that their wealth buys them more than what their family needs: 37 percent of those with $1 – 5 million responded that their wealth allows them to live a fairly luxurious lifestyle, compared to 62 percent of those with $5+ million.

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • Millennial millionaires are the most likely of generations (52 percent) to fear losing their wealth entirely.

  • Millennial millionaires are the most conscious about how their wealth compares to that of their peers (68 percent vs. 60 percent of Gen Xers vs. 53 percent of Baby Boomers vs. 46 percent of the World War II generation).

  • Millionaire parents with children at home struggle to provide the best for their children without spoiling them; 67 percent already feel that their children take things for granted

  • Nearly 9 in 10 millionaires (87 percent) would do things differently if they only had five years to live.    


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