Ben Franklin once said that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” words that apparently still hold true for today’s wealthy Americans.
In its recent report, “The Core Beliefs of Wealthy Investors,” Spectrem Group found that millionaires, those with between $1 million and $5 million in net worth, rate receiving a college education as the most important element towards achieving financial success.
On a scale of 0 to 100, with a zero indicating not-at-all important and a 100 indicating very important, millionaires rated getting a college education at 86 — perhaps because 82 percent of Spectrem’s millionaire respondents report graduating from college, with 41 percent going on to get advanced degrees.
Among millionaires, millennials born between 1980 and 2000 were the least likely to believe that getting a college degree is very important, while the World War II generation, aged 71 and older, viewed a college education the most favorably.
“Young people are a lot more likely to say that they don’t think it’s worth it,” said Cathy McBreen, managing director at Spectrem Group, in a Wednesdsay conference call. “Most respondents, especially the more wealthy ones, believe that it is important.”
Ultra-high-net-worth investors with between $5 million and $25 million rated college even higher, at 88 points.
After an education, millionaires said that starting a dedicated and regular savings program was very important to their financial health. Once again, the various age groups disagreed as to the importance of a savings plan, with millennials rating it lower, at 72 points, than older generations, who rated it between 82 and 85 points. More wealthy investors were more likely to rate savings as important than less wealthy ones.
“Millennials rate savings plans lower because they are finding it harder to save right now because of where they are in their lifespans,” McBreen said. “Nevertheless, saving remains a core value.”
Millionaires believed that purchasing a home was their third most important financial decision.
However, when Spectrem broke down millionaires by age group, they found less agreement. Millennials rated purchasing a home lower, at 73 points, than Generation X, 79 points, baby boomers, 82 points, and the World War II generation, 83 points.