US added 700,000 new millionaires in 2017

Wealth


The number of millionaire households in the U.S. jumped by more than 700,000 last year, thanks to surging stock markets and housing values, according to a new report.

There are now more than 11 million millionaire households in the U.S., according to Spectrem Group, up more than 6 percent from 2016. The number of new millionaires and the total population of millionaires set a new record.

Spectrem said surging stock markets and rising home prices were the main drivers of the new millionaire wealth. (Spectrem defines millionaire households as households with $1 million or more in investible assets, not including primary residence.)

The S&P gained 19 percent last year and the Dow was up 25 percent.

“It was the equity markets that really pulled these folks up,” said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group. “This is the group that has the most equity holdings, so the biggest change is at the high end.”

Since the financial crisis, the number of millionaire households has nearly doubled. In 2009 there were just under 6 million millionaire households. It’s grown every year since, and is now well past the pre-crisis level of 9 million millionaires.

The richer multimillionaires have done the best, since they have the largest share of stocks relative to their overall wealth.

The number of households worth between $5 million and $25 million grew by 84,000, to 1.35 million households. The number of households worth more than $25 million jumped by 10 percent, increasing by 16,000 to a total of 172,000.

Walper says that unless stock markets tumble this year, the growth in millionaire households is likely to continue to rise.

“I think people are pretty optimistic,” he said. “But a lot has to do with whether the Democrats take the House [of Representatives] and whether we see changes in the tax law. But right now I could see a similar increase next year.”



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