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Surge in the ranks of the rich

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, March 24, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Since 2008, the number of U.S. households worth $1 million or more has soared to record highs, surpassing even pre-recession levels.

Money buys happiness

More wealthy are joining the ranks of millionaires, thanks largely to the stock market boom.

The stock market's bull run, especially from 2012 to 2013, is largely responsible for the surge in wealth, according to Spectrem Group, a market research firm.

"Most of the financial damage done by the recession has been erased by recent record-high markets in 2013 as well as continued rebound in the real estate markets," George H. Walper Jr., president of Spectrem Group, said in a release. "In terms of the affluent investor, it is fair to say they have finally recovered from the economic downturn."

Households with a net worth of between $1 million and $5 million numbered a little more than 8 million at the end of 2013. More than 2.5 million households were added since 2008, with 440,000 of them hitting at least $1 million from 2012 to 2013.

The lesser wealthy have seen gains as well. The number of households with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million, excluding primary residences, swelled to nearly 29 million, adding 500,000 since 2012.

The wealthy plan to stick with what's working: 60 percent of investors worth $5 million or more say they'll invest in equities this year, while 31 percent of those worth $100,000 to $1 million plan to do the same.

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popeye doyle
March 26, 2014 at 1:03 am

OK, a few more uber rich and millions of new "working poor." Nice picture of gramps drinking champagne on his Lear Jet with the girl old enough to be his grand-daughter. Is America a great country or what???

jerry davis
March 25, 2014 at 11:55 pm

working man of 50 k a year hasnt got a chance

jerry davis
March 25, 2014 at 11:53 pm

count how many broke SOBs are out here way more than the millionaires

March 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Just a mere paulper next to our own billy gates.

Steve Vinzinski
March 25, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I read the three comments.Paul has an good comment.Hollywood and professional sports represent an good percentage of the increase.Al hit the figure on the nose one million will not cover two people thirty years or more.Fanny net worth is after all dabts.An mortgage of 1.8 million would depend on the value of the real property.

Paul Burton
March 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm

I wonder how many millionairs are created by the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc.? Then there's Hollywood, who knows how many created there...and these are all people who are not affected by the ecomomy. If they were, you'd see ticket prices to go see them go down...wouldn't you? I'd sure think so. But I've never heard of that happening yet...

March 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Chuckle! Linking the economy with the number of folks, who have a net worth of a million bucks. ROFL - Time to employ the economic concept of "relativity."

Just wait 50 years that number will grow by at least a factor of 10 regardless of the state of the economy at that point but that much greater number of millionaires won't consider themselves wealthy by today's standards. Just as all these new "millionaires" aren't anywhere close to as wealthy as the much fewer millionaires 50 years ago.

The dollar is depreciating at an increasingly rapid pace but ya can't tell just by counting the number of dollars in your pocket. You gotta look around and see what each dollar buys then you'll know how much each one of your million dollars is worth and thus, how much a million "nowadays" is really worth regardless of what folks used to think a million was worth.

Kinda like a guy who's parachute fails to open: he really doesn't get a sense of how fast he's falling until he looks at some high flying birds and they appear to be going straight up - just like food prices. In that case his "million dollar" parachute simply isn't gonna provide him with the soft landing he once thought it was.

Hint; although there are a lot more millionaires this year a million dollars is nowhere close to as much as it was worth 6 years ago.

March 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

What about people who have a net worth of 1 million , but a mortgage of 1.8 million.....are they considered as part of this group?