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US Wealth Management: HNW Investors 2019

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  • 37 Pages
  • December 2019
  • Region: United States
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 4912029
US Wealth Management: HNW Investors 2019


The US is the largest wealth market in the world and home to a diverse and sizable HNW segment. Expats are a particularly lucrative segment and the range of countries of origin among HNW expats in the US is diverse, with Canada and the UK being key feeder countries.

Expatriate flows are also responsible for a notable proportion of offshore investments thanks to investors’ propensity to invest in their country of origin. Close to 50% of local and over one third of offshore investments are allocated into equities, and with continued market uncertainty expected in the future, greater importance is being placed on diversification, driving demand for alternatives.

This report sizes the opportunity offered by the US wealth market and analyzes the investing preferences, service requirements, and portfolio allocations of US HNW investors. The report is based on our proprietary Global Wealth Managers Survey.


  • 2.2% of the US population is considered HNW but holds 42% of all liquid assets.
  • Over 90% of HNW individuals are men and 50% of those are over 60 years old.
  • HNW investors work with an average of 2.9 wealth managers, with the majority of wealth held via advisory or discretionary mandates.
  • 44% of HNW onshore wealth is allocated to equities. Going forward, the most notable portfolio reshuffle will benefit alternatives at the expense of bonds, as investors are looking for new means of diversification.

Reasons to buy

  • Develop and enhance your client targeting strategies using our data on HNW profiles and sources of wealth.
  • Give your marketing strategies the edge required and capture new clients using insights from our data on HNW investors’ preferences for the various styles of asset management.
  • Tailor your investment product portfolio to match current and future demand for different asset classes among HNW individuals.
  • Develop your service proposition to match the product and service demand expressed by US HNW investors and react proactively to forecasted changes in demand.

Table of Contents

1.1. The US HNW market continues to offer opportunities for growth
1.2. Key findings
1.3. Critical success factors
2.1. Affluent individuals in the US account for 60% of the adult population
2.1.1. HNW investors account for 2.2% of the market
2.1.2. Wealth for HNW clients has dropped recently but is expected to rise significantly in the coming years
3.1. Males aged between 50 and 70 dominate the US HNW market
3.2. Earned wealth accounts for the largest proportion of US HNW investors
3.2.1. Almost all US HNW investors earned their wealth or acquired it as an entrepreneur
3.2.2. US HNW clients source their wealth from different sectors
4.1. Expats in the US are a growing and important segment
4.1.1. 16% of the US HNW client base is made up of expats
4.1.2. The reasons for HNW investors to expatriate vary
4.1.3. Employment-based visas are an attractive option for HNW investors
5.1. US HNW investors are a loyal bunch, placing great emphasis on personal relationships
5.1.1. US HNW investors prefer to use a few wealth management firms
5.1.2. Investors seek peace of mind and expert wealth management
5.1.3. US HNW clients are mainly interested in advisory and discretionary mandates
5.1.4. A multi-asset management strategy is key in the US
5.2. Demand for all asset management mandates to rise, except discretionary
5.2.1. HNW investors are expected to seek a more hands-on approach
5.2.2. Wealth managers seeking opportunities in the self-directing segment will need to prove themselves to potential clients
6.1. Asset allocation continues to weigh heavily towards equities
6.1.1. Despite having increased their allocations over the past year, investors remain exposed to equity risk
6.1.2. ETFs are becoming increasingly popular
6.1.3. As the traditional stock-bond correlation is diminishing, HNW investors are looking towards alternatives as a means of diversification
6.1.4. Diversification and regular income are the main drivers across all asset allocation classes
7.1. Demand for offshore holdings by US HNW clients is forecast to stagnate
7.1.1. Increased government scrutiny is putting a damper on offshore holdings
7.1.2. A desire for better returns and expatriate money flows are major offshore drivers
7.2. Offshore holdings are geographically diversified, but equity investments dominate
7.2.1. Next to Switzerland and the UK, expat source countries Mexico and China are key booking centers
7.2.2. Offshore portfolios are dominated by equities and bonds
8.1. Planning services are in high demand in the US
8.1.1. A holistic approach to wealth management services is key to resonating with the US HNW market
9.1. Abbreviations and acronyms
9.2. Methodology
9.2.1. The 2019 Global Wealth Managers Survey
9.2.2. Level of agreement calculation
9.2.3. Service level of demand score
9.2.4. Forecast level of demand calculation
9.3. Secondary sources
9.4. Further reading
List of Figures
Figure 1: 2.2% of US individuals qualify as HNW
Figure 2: The rich are still getting richer
Figure 3: Women constitute a smaller proportion of the US HNW segment but are typically younger
Figure 4: Almost all HNW wealth is sourced from earnings or first-generation entrepreneurship
Figure 5: IT and financial services are the leading industries for sources of wealth
Figure 6: The proportion of Chinese expats has dropped while those from Canada and the UK have increased
Figure 7: Most expats stay between three and five years
Figure 8: US HNW clients still place most of their wealth with their main wealth manager
Figure 9: HNW clients rely on their advisors for peace of mind and superior expertise
Figure 10: Advisory and discretionary mandates account for two thirds of US HNW wealth
Figure 11: Demand for all types of asset management mandates is evenly spread
Figure 12: Slight drop in demand for discretionary asset management is predicted
Figure 13: Self-directed investors typically lack trust in wealth managers or prefer exclusive control
Figure 14: Equities is still by far the preferred asset
Figure 15: Equities, and specifically equity funds, outrank all other asset allocations
Figure 16: Wealth managers expect an increase in demand for all asset classes except bonds
Figure 17: Drivers for asset allocation vary greatly across the six classes
Figure 18: Increased government regulations and shifts in demographics are to blame for the stagnation of growth in offshore holdings
Figure 19: Expats retain ties with business interests in their countries of origin
Figure 20: The UK, Switzerland, and China remain the most popular booking centers
Figure 21: Except for investments in currencies, offshore asset class ratios mimic those of onshore portfolios
Figure 22: Financial and inheritance planning services are most in demand for HNW clients
Figure 23: The already strong HNW demand for all planning services is expected to increase, while demand for life insurance is forecast to stagnate