Despite the slow economic recovery, many wealthy business owners are increasingly confident about their finances.

Half of high-net-worth business owners are feeling better off in their personal financial situation than they were five years ago, according to a new survey from Northern Trust. The number that are confident they will achieve their personal financial goals comes in at 69%.

In addition, wealthy business owners are focusing both on the outlook for their businesses and their families' financial security. When looking for specialized services, 72% of wealthy business owners want tax planning advice and 60% seek estate planning counsel. Nearly half (48%) are continuing to seek financial and investment planning advice.

The data comes from Northern Trust’s Wealth in America Survey that provides insight into the financial attitudes of wealthy Americans.

"In the depths of the recession, business owners had a great deal of fear about the financial impact of the downturn on their families," said Mary Ann Sisco, Senior Vice President for Wealth Management at Northern Trust in a statment. "As the economy improves, and merger-and-acquisition activity strengthens, we see growing confidence. Business owners are looking to the future and considering succession and retirement planning."


Wealthy business owners continue to be hands on and knowledgeable but still rely on assistance from a trusted advisor when it comes to managing their finances.

  • 15% of high-net-worth business owners make financial decisions on their own.
  • 55% rely on an advisor for some or all financial decisions they make.
  • 64%—nearly two in three—say they prefer to work with one financial institution. On average, however, they have four financial relationships.

"Our clients are asking many more questions about how to plan for the future, and that's a good sign," said Sisco in a statement. "High-net-worth business owners want to be prepared. They're looking for high quality advice to help them make the right decisions, especially when it comes to transitioning or selling their business."