The rich say knowledge is money

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Everyone’s heard that knowledge is power, and that seems to hold true when it comes to power over finances: The more you know, the richer you are, according to two recent studies.

In two separate surveys by Spectrem Research Group, the wealthy describe themselves as “very knowledgeable” about finances and say they possess confidence in their abilities to manage their own investments. Among the most confident investors are the so-called millennial millionaires (the generation born approximately between the early 1980s and 2000).

In its first-quarter wealth study, Spectrem found that more than 40 percent of respondents with $5 million to $25 million in investable assets describe themselves as having a high level of investing knowledge. Among those with $100,000 to $1 million, only 11 percent describe themselves that way.

Those with less wealth also express more regret about how they handled their finances before the recession, saying they wish they had saved more and not taken on so much debt.

Wealthier respondents generally don’t have such regrets and are also looking forward to a rosier retirement. Those who expressed a high level of knowledge say they are confident about how to handle Social Security benefits and manage various income streams during retirement.

Among younger investors, a separate survey found that millennials with a net worth of $1 million or more express a high level of confidence in their own abilities to manage investments. Nearly 60 percent say they enjoy investing and this group is most likely to want to have hands-on involvement in the process every day. They are less likely to use an investment manager than those in older generations, with about a third preferring to do it all themselves. Another 42 percent say they make most of their investment decisions, consulting a manager only for specific needs.

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