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More Millionaires, More DIY-ers

The rich are getting richer, and more independent when it comes to managing their wads of cash.

There are a lot of millionaires in the United States. More than ever, in fact, according to recent research published by London-based market research firm TNS. But are they turning to financial advisors for help? Well, yes, and no.

TNS recently reported the number of millionaire households (those with $1 million in net worth, excluding primary residence) has risen for the fourth consecutive year to a record high of 9.3 million — a 5 percent increase from the previous year. California happens to be home to four of the top 10 counties in number of millionaires. See the table below.

But here's the rub: Not only are the rich getting richer; they're getting more independent. Online trading among millionaires who have Internet access rose to 32 percent, a 45 percent jump over the last five years, TNS found. Of those who do not use a financial advisor, 46 percent said, “I feel I do better managing my own money,” while 31 percent said, “the wealth of information [available to me] makes a professional advisor unnecessary.“

Still, it's not all bad news: 60 percent of millionaires continue to obtain investment advice from a professional financial advisor. A recent Investment Company Institute survey also showed most mutual fund investors turn to financial advisors when selecting a mutual fund and drawing up a financial plan.

The 10 counties in the U.S. with the highest number of millionaires Number of millionaire households Millionaire households as % of total state households Millionaire households as % of total U.S. millionaire households
1 Los Angeles County, CA 268,136 23% 3%
2 Cook County, IL 171,118 40 2
3 Orange County, CA 116,157 10 1
4 Maricopa County, AZ 113,414 62 1
5 San Diego County, CA 102,138 9 1
6 Harris County, TX 99,504 16 1
7 Nassau County, NY 79,704 13 1
8 Santa Clara County, CA 74,824 6 1
9 Palm Beach County, FL 71,221 11 1
10 King County, WA 68,390 33 1
Sourse TNS
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