Generations collide and unite in this year's study

In the 2017 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey, we asked over 800 high-net-worth individuals their thoughts on investing, the workplace, family relationships, philanthropy and more.

A generational shiſt is now more apparent than ever. Today, differing beliefs and behaviors between younger and older generations can cause conflict, but that disagreement can also provide opportunities for innovation and redefining impact.



View highlights from the 2017 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey.




High-net-worth investors continue to rely on traditional asset classes, but younger investors are increasingly drawn to alternative investments, as well as investing for social impact.


Where do the wealthy put their investments?

On average, wealthy Millennials are far less reliant on the stock market. They hold a heſty cash position, perhaps for opportunistic purchases or investments.

Which generations are assessing their portfolio for impact?

Wealthy individuals across generations are interested in investing for environmental or social impact, but Millennials are by far the most active in evaluating these strategies.


Family roles have shiſted significantly over the years, but some dynamics hold. With the great wealth transfer at hand, younger and older family members lack confidence in each other when it comes to responsibly managing family money.

Do family members have confidence in each other's capacity to manage money?

Over 50% of parents are not very confident in their children's capacity to manage family money.

Likewise, the majority of children in every generation question their parents' capacity.

Who in the household makes investment decisions? (%)

Though men are still the dominant decision makers, younger women are inching upward in taking the leading role.

How have childcare responsibilities changed over time?

Women have been and are still the primary caregivers of children, but roles are being redefined today.

More dads are primary caregivers than ever before, and responsibility is oſten shared, perhaps to help Mom focus on work.

Art Collecting

Art is a treasured asset for many high-net-worth families, primarily for its aesthetic value. But some families also see it as part of their wealth-building strategy.

What drives collectors to buy art?

Younger generations are more attuned to the financial implications of art collecting.

What do collectors plan to do with their art?

Are families talking about giſting and inheriting art? Just over half (54%) of art collectors have had discussions with family members about their interest in or passion for art.


Giving back is important to all. But how do they give back? The ways in which the wealthy give back differ significantly across generations.

Is the definition of philanthropy changing?

Older generations prefer traditional giving, and volunteering transcends age. But younger generations see both work and investments as tools for impact.

How does giving affect family values?

Giving is a powerful way to unite families, with Millennials most strongly agreeing.

Contact a U.S. Trust advisor to discuss how these findings may have an impact on your own wealth planning.

Survey methodology: The 2017 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey is based on a nationwide survey of 808 high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth adults with at least $3 million in investable assets, not including the value of their primary residence. Respondents who have between $3 million and $5 million, $5 million and $10 million, and $10 million or more in investable assets. The survey was conducted online by the independent research firm Phoenix Marketing International in January and February of 2017. Asset information was self-reported by the respondent. Verification for respondent qualification occurred at the panel company, using algorithms in place to ensure consistency of information provided, and was confirmed with questions from the survey itself. All data have been tested for statistical significance at the 95% confidence level.


Media Contacts

Sue McCabe

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