How Do the Wealthiest Invest?
In our series on growing your wealth we’ve discussed healthy behaviors for priming your finances for growth, how to write a personal investing statements, and how to avoid unhealthy ways of thinking about investments. These are all essential for growing your finances in a way that serves your life. It is equally important that we have positive role models to study and look up to.
Unfortunately we can’t all be the Oracle of Omaha, but we can learn from behaviors of some of the wealthiest investors in the US. A recent study completed by U.S. Trust of nearly 700 high net worth investors (investable assets exceeding $3 million) found the following:
Wealthy Investing Behaviors
- Wealthy investors maintain a fairly high amount of account liquidity. More than half of the surveyed investors keep their liquidity high so that can take full advantage of an opportunity when it becomes available. This is not out of fear or caution, but a strategic decision to keep reserves ready to move quickly. How many channels of your portfolio could be easily liquidated and put to use?
- Large cash positions are a common portfolio feature. To further demonstrate the importance of multiple liquidity access points, 60% of surveyed investors have at least 10% of their portfolio in cash. This isn’t a conservative move, but a decisive and strategic commitment to be ready for the future. What percentage of your personal finance is held in cold hard cash?
- Long-term goals are more important than short-term growth. Wealthy investors are willing to forego short-term, rapid gains in favor of risk mitigation and steady growth over time. They know that the long-term is what will sustain them over time, and they focus their discipline accordingly.
- Mitigating tax burdens is a priority. More than half of those surveyed emphasized the importance of minimized the impact of taxes on their investments. This rated above pursuing higher returns. Wealthy investors are largely focused on their net pay, rather than the gross before taxes. Managing this burden is key for success. Do you know the tax rate for all of your assets?
- Tangible assets are important. Almost half of the surveyed individuals have invested in some sort of tangible asset, such as real estate. These can produce passive income and grow in value over time, offering growth and a revenue stream. Do you have secondary income sources?
- Credit can be used for good. Nearly 65% of surveyed investors agree that credit can be used to build wealth strategically. While their knowledge is powerful, it is important to note the risk associated here. Consider using credit cards for spending you already planned on doing (so long as you pay them off weekly) or increase your payments on low interest mortgages or student loans to save on interest. This will free up more long-term cash to invest.
- Consider the impact of your investments. Beyond your own finances, your investments can affect society and the world. Many mutual funds and ETFs present opportunities to invest your money in companies based on their social values and impacts on society or the Earth as a whole. Many wealthy investors perceive socially responsible companies as being less risky to invest in. What social values and impacts do you want to support through your investments?
Ready to join the ranks of wealthy investors? Begin your journey with our JBWealthFit.com curriculum to grow your investing knowledge and skill set. Or contact us directly to schedule a consultation. We’re excited to help you on this journey to change your life.