Now that the bear market has taken its toll on all Americans, including the wealthy, those with deeper pockets than most are looking to take a pragmatic approach to recovering losses and building for the future.
A recent Phoenix/Harris Interactive survey shows that there are six distinct segments of affluent investors, all with different abilities to meet personal financial goals. Perceptions have certainly changed over the last few years as 43% of the wealthy now consider themselves "more savers than investors," while 57% admit their years of excess spending are long gone. And, more than half, 58%, indicated that its more important to preserve the safety of their capital, even if it means lower returns.
"The wealthy are no longer in shock and fear when it comes to their finances," Jack Sharry, senior vice president of The Phoenix Companies. "Theyve learned trees dont grow to the sky - unfortunately, the hard way - and want to move forward with a realistic approach."
The survey consisted of 1,496 online interviews with adults who have a net worth of $1 million or more, minus any debt and excluding primary residence. There are six segments of affluent investors outlined in the survey. The Deal Masters make up 11% of the group. They are characterized by a "winner takes all" attitude and enjoy the challenge of making more money.
Altruistic Achievers, which comprise 17% of the wealthy population, are driven to succeed, but they also have aspirations to use their wealth to help those less fortunate. Secret Succeeders, also 17% of the wealthy population, have achieved their wealth somewhat unexpectedly, and as a result, are ill at ease with their success.
Status Chasers, 18% of the wealthy, want it all, but have not been able to achieve their financial goals as of yet. Satisfied Savers, which make up 24% of the wealthy population, are the largest and oldest segment of the wealthy. They are financially savvy and have built their wealth through hard work and living below their financial means. Disengaged Inheritors, at 13%, have received and built their wealth largely through inheritance, as well as perseverance and living below their means.
"This data peels back the layers to reveal the wealthy population is not a distinct, one-dimensional segment. Rather, it is a complex group of individuals with varying abilities to meet their personal financial goals," said Gordon Black, chairman and CEO of Harris Interactive.