Inside the mind of a US millionaire

The dollar rose in Asian trade on fresh expectations the US central bank may raise interest rates in the second half of the year, analysts said. -- PHOTO: AFP
The dollar rose in Asian trade on fresh expectations the US central bank may raise interest rates in the second half of the year, analysts said. -- PHOTO: AFP

Millionaires make up approximately 1.1 per cent of the world's households, and control over 40 per cent of the world's wealth.

Yet, a survey released recently by Swiss bank UBS revealed that many feel insecure. This prompts them to remain on a hot-headed pursuit for greater wealth.

The Swiss bank surveyed 2,215 US investors with over US$1 million in net worth for the report, UBS Investor Watch, a quarterly US publication analysing investor sentiments.

Here's what it found out about US millionaires:

1. Is it possible for US millionaires to feel "rich enough?"

Only millionaires with US$5 million or more feel they have enough to be secure.

More notably, insecurities are most prevalent amongst millenials: 52 per cent of them fear losing their wealth, compared to 36 per cent of those in the "boomers" generation.

"If I could get down to part-time that would be nice. But I would lose a big chunk of my paycheck. It wouldn't be feasible. I want my kids to go the best college possible." Female, age 42, US$1 million to US$2 million.

2. What are millionaires afraid of?

71 per cent subscribe to the belief that the American dream of prospering through hard work is in danger.

"There is wealth inequality, driven by poor education and reduced opportunities. It is much more difficult to be upwardly mobile in today's environment." Female, age 68, US$5 million to US$10 million.

3. How does it feel like to be in the top 1 per cent?

Turns out, the rich do not always feel rich. Out of the 42 per cent who identified themselves as middle class growing up, 20 per cent continue to feel that they belong there.

4. Some end up regretting the sacrifices they had to make along the way...

When asked about their biggest regrets in life, 40 per cent of them pertain to family.

Only 7 per cent regret focusing too much on their career.

"During my middle years, I was spending too much time at work, less with family. I pushed myself too much." Male, age 65, US$1 million to US$2 million

5. ... but the race to the top continues.

Respondents with a net worth ranging between US$1 million to US$5 million seek to cross the US$10 million mark.

Meanwhile, those who have attained the US$10 million mark aspire to go beyond US$25 million.