Major Investors Share Ten Characteristics

U.S. Trust reveals commonalities of investors in its annual survey



U.S. Trust recently surveyed 684 high-net-worth individuals for its annual Insights on Wealth and Worth Survey. 

According to U.S. Trust—the global wealth and investment management unit of Bank of America—respondents, who each had at least $3 million in investable assets, generally attributed their success to the same things: hard work, ambition and family upbringing.

Through its research, U.S. Trust also found ten common characteristics of those surveyed:

  1. They built wealth over time: Nearly 80 percent of respondents were born into middle- or lower-class backgrounds, and began to earn wealth over time through work income and smart investing.
  2. They have a simple, steady approach to investing: Eighty-six percent of surveyed investors have gained large amounts of wealth through long-term strategies such as stocks and bonds and various small wins, rather than big investment risks.
  3. They are opportunistically optimistic: Quite a few respondents claim to keep more than 10 percent of their investment portfolios in cash positions to be able to invest in a “sudden market downturn or rising trend,” according to U.S. Trust.
  4. They use credit to their advantage: Four in five respondents claim to know when to use credit to their advantages. Many also say they use credit as a tool to build wealth.
  5. They are tax-conscious: More than 50 percent of surveyed investors believe it is better to factor in potential tax implications of investments rather than chasing higher returns regardless.
  6. They invest in tangible assets: Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed have invested in assets such as farmland, real estate and properties that can grow over time in legacy value. Others collect fine art.
  7. They value saving: More than 80 percent of respondents put more emphasis on investing to reach long-term goals rather than pursuing immediate desires.
  8. Family values and upbringings make a difference: Four in five respondents came from parents with strong disciplinary boundaries who encouraged them to pursue their talents.
  9. Philanthropy has been a family tradition: Sixty-five percent of those surveyed say their families had a history of giving back to society.
  10. Life-long marriage is valued: Nearly 90 percent of surveyed investors are married or in long-term committed relationships. Roles at home are often divided rather than shared and “almost all discuss important goals and values about the use of money,” the report says.

Click here for the full analysis.