Where do the wealthiest people in the U.S. hold their wealth? According to Edward Wolff, a Harvard and Yale trained economist who teaches at NYU, the following is a breakdown of where people with a net worth of more than $7.7m hold their assets. This data can be found in Wolff’s, “Household Wealth Trends, 1962-2013: What Happened over the Great Recession?”, a working paper that was prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
8.7% of their wealth is held in their principle residence. This in contrast with the middle class (net worth of $0-$401,000), who hold 62.5% of their wealth in their primary residence.
6.1% of total assets is held in cash.
27.3% is held in stocks and financial securities (This includes stocks, bonds, and assets held in various types of retirement plans). The middle class only holds 3.4% in these vehicles.
47% of their wealth is held in business ownership and real estate. The middle class only holds 8.6% in businesses and real estate.
1.9% is held in gold and other precious metals, royalties, jewelry, antiques, furs, loans to friends and relatives, futures contracts, and other miscellaneous assets.
And, as a class, 75% of the wealthy say they own other real estate, and 85% say they own other securities e.g. stock and mutual funds.