It takes more than a million to make the rich feel wealthy

What does it take to feel wealthy? About $7.5 million, according to a group of people who should know. That finding came in a recent survey of 1,000 millionaire households by Fidelity, the second-largest mutual fund company. The average wealth of the households surveyed was $3.5 million, and surprisingly some 42 percent of those respondents said they do not feel wealthy.

How wealthy someone feels may be relative to age and working status, the survey indicated. Younger millionaires who still have years to work and accumulate wealth generally said they already felt wealthy. But millionaires near or in retirement wanted more money to feel wealthy, probably because they face years of supporting themselves on their wealth while dealing with inflation.

On the whole the millionaires surveyed said they were more optimistic about the future than they have been in the last four years. Some 83 percent said the financial crisis of 2008 did not shake their confidence in investing, and 43 percent plan to invest more money in stocks over the next year.

A majority said their goal when investing was to preserve their capital, not to generate aggressive growth of their portfolios. Their planned charitable giving increased to $38,000 in the latest survey, up from $36,000 in a 2009 survey.
The Federal Reserve’s latest triennial survey of household finances found that there are 5.5 million households with at least $1 million in assets. Millionaire households make up just 5 percent of the U.S. population, but they control 56 percent of the nation’s wealth. That would mean they control almost $32 trillion of the nation’s $57 trillion in personal wealth.