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Fidelity survey finds 86 per cent of millionaires are self-made

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Fidelity Investments’ Millionaire Outlook suggests that 86 per cent of millionaires are self-made and that their path to wealth, financial outlook and goals greatly impact their investment behaviours.

In addition, millionaires’ outlook on the future financial environment is at its highest level in the survey’s history, underscored by their confidence in the stock market, as millionaires ranked domestic stocks their number one investment added in the last year.

Using a scale where +100 represents the most favourable outlook, zero is neutral and -100 is the most negative outlook, this year’s study found that millionaires’ outlook of the future financial environment continues to improve, with their future outlook reaching +39, the highest level since the survey’s inception in 2006.

Despite millionaires’ outlook on the current financial environment remaining negative (-29), their near-term confidence is on the rise, consistently increasing by nearly 50 per cent each year since 2009.

Millionaires’ confidence in the future was driven by positive sentiment about business spending (+43) and consumer spending (+42), which is at its highest level in the survey’s history. Millionaires’ continued trepidation around the current financial environment stemmed from their lack of confidence in the value of real estate (-75), the economy (-49) and business spending (-32).

“One trend has held true throughout the life of this study – the millionaire investor’s outlook has been consistently pragmatic about current market conditions and pervasively optimistic about a future recovery,” says Michael R. Durbin, president, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services.

When it comes to where they are currently investing, millionaires ranked individual domestic stocks as their number one investment added in the last year, followed by certificates of deposit/money market accounts/cash equivalents, equity exchange traded funds, individual domestic bonds and domestic equity mutual funds. Of those investments, significantly more millionaires chose equities over fixed-income investments – an inverse trend from the investment strategies of the average investor.

According to the 2012 study, today’s millionaire is, on average, 61 years old with USD3.05m in assets. Seventy-four per cent of millionaires today feel wealthy, and those who do not said they would need an average of USD5m of investable assets to begin feeling wealthy.

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