*NEWS*RISE IN NUMBER OF MILLIONAIRE

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*NEWS*RISE IN NUMBER OF MILLIONAIRE

 user 2006-03-28 at 11:13:00 am Views: 88
  • #15286

    New Rise in Number of Millionaire Families
    The number of American households with a net worth of $1 million or more, excluding their principal residence, grew to a record 8.9 million last year, the British market research firm TNS Financial Services said in a report to be released today.
    More than one in seven of the households were in just 13 of the nation’s 3,140 counties, TNS said.
    The number of millionaire families rose to 7.1 million in 1999, said Jeanette Luhr, a TNS manager who directed the survey, and then, after the Internet bubble burst, dropped steadily to 5.5 million by 2002. The ranks of millionaire households rose to 6.2 million in 2003 and 8.2 million in 2004, she said.
    In most large counties, about one household in 12, or about 8.5 percent, was worth $1 million or more, Ms. Luhr said. An exception was Nassau County on Long Island, where millionaire families were more than twice as common, at 17.5 percent of all households.
    The households had an average net worth, excluding principal residence, of nearly $2.2 million, of which more than $1.4 million was in liquid, or investable, assets. The survey counted some tax-deferred retirement savings but did not include individual retirement accounts in the liquid assets.
    Despite a rising stock market, Ms. Luhr said that more than half of those surveyed said they had “become much more conservative in their investment approach over the past year.”
    The survey found that 29 percent of the millionaire households did not own stocks or bonds and 32 percent did not own mutual funds. One in four had a second mortgage on a home.
    Half of the heads of millionaire households were 58 or older, Ms. Luhr said, and 45 percent were retired.
    Just 18.7 percent of the millionaires own — or owned before they retired — part of a business or professional practice, an indication that high-wage earners who save and invest are the dominate group, at least among those on the lower rungs of the millionaire class.
    TNS also found that while 73 percent of those it surveyed said they would prefer to do all of their financial business at a single institution, hardly anyone did.
    Ms. Luhr said that 195 counties had at least 10,000 millionaires and that slightly more than a third of all counties had at least 1,000 millionaires.