Most people would consider anyone with millions of dollars in investible assets to be rich, but a considerable number of millionaires apparently exist in a different dimension -- one in which millionaires are not rich.
A new survey from the wealth management unit of UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) found that out of 4,450 U.S. investors with at least $1 million in investible assets 72 percent do not consider themselves “wealthy.”
“The majority of investors define wealth as having no financial constraints on what they do. But when asked to assign a dollar amount to being wealthy, they say it takes $5 million,” the survey released Tuesday states.
What about investors worth at least $5 million?
Forty percent of them say they don’t consider themselves wealthy. The United States leads the world in the number of high-net-worth individuals, or HNWI, defined as anyone with at least $1 million in investible assets, excluding the value of the primary household.
According to the World Wealth Report 2013 from RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini Financial Services, 12 million people in the world fit into the HMWI category as of 2012. Combined, these top earners in the world hold $46.2 trillion in wealth, a 9.2 percent increase from the year before, or an average of $3.8 million in household net worth. North America is home to 31 percent of these income earners, or 3.73 million.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 2 percent of U.S. households report income greater than $250,000 per year, while roughly half earn about $50,000 per year.
The UBS survey found other characteristics among the nations’ richest income earners, including:
- “Wealthy” means that, in addition to your net worth, you have $1 million in cash on reserve to buffer against losses on investments. On average, poll participants kept 23 percent of their wealth in cash or equivalents.
- Half of the respondents said being wealthy means there are no financial constraints on activities, while 10 percent said it means not having to work again.
- The survey also found that among these HNWIs, about 80 percent are extending financial assistance to adult children or parents, and about 20 percent are sharing their household with them.
“The top two personal concerns for investors are long-term care and the financial situation of children and grandchildren,” the survey states.
Read the entire report here.