How Do You Define ‘Wealthy’?


wealthyThink that once you hit that million mark, you’re all set? Think again.

According to a UBS survey of 4,450 successful investors, about 70% of those with at least $1 million in investable assets still don’t feel wealthy.

So, what’s the magic number? CNN Money reports that once investors reach $5 million, most finally consider themselves wealthy. But from the outside looking in, $1 million and $5 million seem similarly impressive. What’s the difference?

What it Takes to Feel ‘Wealthy’

Wealth, according to those surveyed, is more than being able to opt for early retirement and leave money for future family members.

According to the study, $5 million allows people to feel that they can afford to do whatever they want—a key part of feeling rich.

Well, it would for people who currently have less than that, anyway—only 60% of respondents who already have at least $5 million in assets would classify themselves as wealthy.

Plus, the ability to have cold, hard cash on hand is key. Keeping 20% of assets in cash for emergencies can ease the minds of the wealthy (or “not wealthy,” as they might say), many of whom experienced significant losses of their illiquid assets in 2008.

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Somewhat surprisingly, UBS also found that the majority of those surveyed felt optimistic about the future of the economy and their own financial situations—despite not feeling ‘wealthy.’

Are Millions Unrealistic?

Apparently, pocketing a few (million) extra dollars will let you loosen the reins and relax. But that’s easier said than done, right?

In fact, there are people out there who have successfully saved over $1 million without becoming mega-successful executives or executing impressive investing feats. We’re not saying saving a million is easy, per se … just that it’s possible.

Feeling wealthy, on the other hand, seems to be somewhat more difficult.

  • CrankyFranky

    as social animals we tend to compare ourselves and feel better if we are relatively better off than our neighbours

    I wonder if this is like the definition of ‘old’ – ten years older than me ?

    so – would a definition of wealthy be something like – twice as much money as I have ?