percentage us population net worth over million

According to findings by PNC Wealth Management, an overwhelming number of high net worth Americans earned their wealth and are more likely to feel secure during challenging economic times compared to peers who inherited their money.

Conducted by PNC Wealth Management, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), the fourth annual Wealth and Values Survey revealed that 69 percent of high net worth Americans with $500,000 or more in investable assets accumulated most of their fortune by earning it through work, business ownership or investments. This compares to the 6 percent who attained their wealth primarily through inheritance. The remaining 25 percent gained their wealth through a combination of inheritance and earnings.

Earned Wealth -- Why Worry?

The earners" majority, are more likely to be concerned about the likelihood of a recession, yet are more confident they can manage through a downturn, PNC found. When asked about a recession, 36 percent of high net worth earners said it was a concern, yet 77 percent agreed with the statement I feel I have a lot of control over my financial future."

Meanwhile, 27 percent of heirs expressed concern about a recession. Yet, 10 percent fewer -- 67 percent -- expressed confidence about control of their finances in the future.

The earners also have a higher risk tolerance than heirs. Thirty-nine percent of earners rate themselves as moderate to risky investors compared with 21 percent of heirs.

There is a strong correlation between those who earned their wealth, their willingness to take risks and confidence that they can recover from a major negative financial event," said Thomas P. Melcher, executive vice president and managing director of Hawthorn, PNC Wealth Managements ultra high net worth division. "Those who inherited their wealth often view themselves as stewards for future generations. As a result, they tend to be more conservative in their approach to investing.

By understanding the psychology of wealth, wealth managers are better able to deliver holistic advice measured both with investment returns and quality of life, the success of which is measured both through investment returns and appreciation for the lifestyle that wealth allows," he added.

Other survey highlights include:

- Happiness is Relative: Three quarters (76 percent) of earners agree "My financial success lets me feel less stress and worry" as opposed to 50 percent of heirs. And 51 percent of earners agree "as I have accumulated more money in my life I have become happier" vs. 33 percent of heirs.

- More Not Necessarily Merrier: Heirs are more than twice as likely to say Having a lot of money brings about more problems than it solves" (20 percent vs. 9 percent among earners).

- As Luck Would Have It: More high net worth people who have earned their wealth (37 percent) agree with the statement The money I have made so far has come from being in the right place at the right time" compared with 25 percent of heirs.

- Passing it On: Far more of earners (68 percent vs. 28 percent) agree with the statement Every generation should be responsible for creating its own wealth." In addition, 25 percent of earners vs. 14 percent of heirs agree with the statement I am concerned my children will grow up entitled." And more earners believe It is more important for children to learn the value of money through hard work" (92 percent vs. 71 percent).

Survey Methodology

The Wealth and Values Survey is well established as a measurement of the pulse of the attitudes and thoughts of Americas high net worth earners. Previous surveys have focused on the children of the wealthy in the Growing up Wealthy survey of 2007; relationships in the Love and Money survey in 2006 and handing down legacies to future generations in 2005.

The Wealth and Values Survey was commissioned by PNC to identify attitudes about wealth and wealth management among high-net-worth individuals, how it affects their lives and their needs in managing wealth.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive? in September and October 2007 among a nationwide cross section of 1,509 high net worth adults (age 18 or older), with annual incomes of $150,000 or above (if employed), at least $500,000 of investable assets (unless retired) or at least $1 million of investable assets (if retired).

The total sample contains four distinct groups: 610 with assets of $500,000 to

$999,999; 668 with assets of $1 million to $4.9 million; 120 with assets of $5 million to $9.9 million; and, 111 with assets of $10 million or more. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region, income, asset level and propensity to be online were weighted where necessary to reflect the composition of the wealthy, high net worth adult American population. Findings are significant at the 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent among the sample of national adults, and a margin of error of +/- 4.0% among the sample of business owners.

The survey was designed and managed by HNW, Inc. (www.hnw.com), a leading provider of wealth marketing software and solutions to financial services companies and intermediaries seeking to capture and serve the high net worth market.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing consumer and business banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services.

This report has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Information has been gathered from third party sources and has not been independently verified or accepted by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, assumptions, analyses or conclusions presented in the report. PNC cannot be held responsible for any errors or misrepresentations contained in the report or in the information gathered from third party sources. Any reliance upon the information provided in the report is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

For more information on the Wealth and Values Survey on high net worth Americans by PNC Wealth Management, please visit www.pnc.com



Author Information

Alan Aldinger
PNC Financial Services Grou

Tags: