UBS Wealth Management Americas (WMA) today released its fourth UBS Investor Watch revealing wealth is defined as being able to live one's life with no financial constraints, rather than reaching a specific asset level. That said, investors feel that it would take at least $5 million to be considered wealthy.
- What is wealthy: The survey of high net worth (HNW) and affluent investors found that nearly 70% of investors with more than $1 million in investable assets do not consider themselves wealthy. Investors define wealth as having no financial constraints (50%), as opposed to never having to work again (10%) or being able to afford a luxurious lifestyle (9%). Investors feel that it would take at least $5 million in personal wealth for them to be considered wealthy.
- Providing financial help for adult children and enjoying it: While the ability to afford healthcare and long-term care remains the top personal concern (27%) for investors, their children’s and grandchildren’s financial situations rank second (20%), trumping the ability to afford retirement (14%) and the potential to outlive one’s assets (14%).The survey found that investors most enjoy financially helping their grandchildren (82%), followed by their adult children (76%) and their parents (59%). Two-thirds of investors with adult children ages 18-39 currently financially support their children. Thirty-six percent pay for minor expenses (e.g., clothes, phone bill), 31% fund/help fund their education, 17% pay for larger purchases and 16% provide a home (and this is generally at least in part financial necessity).
- Cash is still king: Investors continue to hold high levels of cash (23%), and with large cash holdings use them as a way to reduce their overall risk level. Investors find it important to have cash because they know they are extremely unlikely to lose it and generally find peace of mind in holding a lot of cash.
- Redefining the "comprehensive financial plan": Investors are more confident when financial plans are dedicated to long-term healthcare expenses and to providing financial support across multiple generations. When a financial plan includes these two elements, confidence skyrockets to 85%, compared to 57% with a more traditional financial plan.
- Investors control risk by bucketing money: Investor Watch found that 80% of investors think about their assets as different buckets, with varying risk/return profiles, based on their expected use (e.g., savings, necessary purchases and recreational spending).
- Feeling on the Fed: Investors see the Fed ending stimulus as positive for the long term. More than half (51%) expect this change to have a negative short-term impact on the economy but will stabilize the economy in the long run. The majority of investors (59%) are not changing their investment strategy as a result of the Fed announcement.
- 67% of investors believe the economy is strengthening and 60% say their long-term economic outlook is bright.
- 56% of investors find the idea of a 5% constant return highly appealing for the next 12 months. A smaller but still significant portion (40%) find this highly appealing for the next 10 years, indicating long-term return expectations remain higher than 5%.
- Long-term care planning; only 33% are highly prepared and 36% are not prepared.
About UBSUBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its universal bank in Switzerland. Together with a client-focused Investment Bank and a strong, well-diversified Global Asset Management business, UBS will drive further growth and expand its premier wealth management franchise. UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 57 countries, with about 35% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 17% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 12% in Asia Pacific. UBS employs about 65,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). www.ubs.com/media