The Wealthiest 3%: Households with Financial Assets of a Half Million or More MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. II, No. 14 December 1996

Financial Assets of U.S. Households

In the United States, 3 million households have financial assets of $500 000 or more. These households control nearly half (46%) of consumer-owned financial assets:
  • This group's average net worth is $1.7 million.
  • Financial assets account for 73% of total household assets.
  • Half this group is retired people; professionals or entrepreneurs make up the other half.
The wealthiest 3% manage their own household financial affairs but are not totally self-reliant:
  • Fully 80% enjoy learning about investment opportunities.
  • Some 60% need advice and prefer to consult with specialists when making investment decisions.
  • Half this group sought professional financial advice in the past year.
The very affluent identify stockbrokers as the "best" professionals to satisfy their wealth-building needs, but they rate stockbrokers low on trust:
  • Among households seeking advice, 59% turned to stockbrokers over other financial professionals.
  • Only one in five people in this group "have a great deal of trust" in stockbrokers; they place greater trust in bankers, accountants, or financial planners.