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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- They value saving: More than 80 percent of respondents put more emphasis on investing to reach long-term goals rather than pursuing immediate desires.
- 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.
- Philanthropy has been a family tradition: Sixty-five percent of those surveyed say their families had a history of giving back to society.
- 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.
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