The number of U.S. households with at least $1 million in investable assets grew by more than 1.3 million since 2006, before the financial crisis, to 6.8 million households by mid-2016, accounting for 5.5% of all U.S. households, Phoenix Marketing International reported Thursday.
The overall wealth market is growing, but the ratio of millionaires to total U.S. households has remained relatively flat since 2006, and wealth is more concentrated and shifting geographically, according to the annual Phoenix Wealth & Affluent Monitor.
Phoenix research showed that households with at least $1 million in investable assets hold approximately $20 trillion in total liquid wealth in the U.S., or roughly 59% of the total.
Households with between $1 million and $10 million in investable assets experienced the biggest asset growth between 2015 and 2016, advancing by $809 billion to a total of $17.8 trillion.
By comparison, 16.4 million households comprised the broad affluent market with between $250,000 and $1 million in investable assets. They control $8.5 trillion in investable assets, or 35% of total liquid wealth in the U.S.
However, mass affluent households lost $56 billion collectively between 2015 and 2016, with $54 billion of these losses among the segment with $250,000 to $500,000. During the same period, the 14 million households with between $100,000 and $250,000 saw their investable assets decline by $79 billion to $2.6 trillion.
According to Phoenix, the concentration of wealth in the U.S. continues to deepen as the top 1% of wealthiest U.S. households now holds 24% of liquid wealth. The non-affluent, making up 70% of U.S. households, control less than a tenth of the nation’s liquid wealth.
Approximately 70% of the wealthy and affluent market is represented by Americans 52 or older who have at least $100,000 in investable assets. Boomers account for 55% of the market and the Silent Generation 15%.
Millennials, about 13% of the wealth and affluent market, are gaining on Generation X, which makes up the remaining 17% of the market, and who are faced with the financial challenges of aging parents and paying for their children’s education.
“Our research reveals stark geographic, demographic and economic differences within the broad wealth and affluent market, reinforcing the need for more precise segmentation and targeted, relevant messaging,” David Thompson, managing director for affluent practice at Phoenix, said in a statement.
“The trends we’ve seen over the past 10 years show a deeper and wider wealth divide as families in the near- and emerging affluent segments fall further behind financially.”
The Wealth & Affluent Monitor sizing estimates in the U.S. were developed by using a combination of sources including the Survey of Consumer Finance and Nielsen-Claritas.
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