Fidelity: Millionaires don’t feel rich

March 14, 2011

A model presents a creation by design house Fresh Art at the opening night of the Millionaire Fair in Moscow November 27, 2008. Picture taken November 27, 2008.   REUTERS/Thomas Peter A new survey from Fidelity Investments finds that millionaires aren’t feeling so rich these days.

More than four out of 10 American millionaires say they do not feel rich. In fact, participants say they need to have at least $7.5 million in order to feel they were truly rich.

The millionaires’ malaise also extends to sentiments about investing: Only a third of respondents say they have recovered all of the money they lost during the financial crisis of 2008, when U.S. stocks plunged and a shrinking economy fueled a lengthy recession. The vast majority of respondents feel more knowledgeable about the markets, but also more conservative as investors.

However, there is some evidence wealthy Americans are starting to regain their confidence in stocks: 43 percent said they will invest more in the market over the next 12 months, compared with 11 percent likely to pull money out.

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A million dollars doesn’t go as far as you think it might, especially not when saving for retirement. If you want an inflation-adjusted income stream over a 30+ year retirement, a million dollars will pay for around $3k/month.

That said, there is always somebody with less money and always somebody with more. People habitually look at the latter when deciding whether or not they are rich — which is why you get some silly results in polls like this.

Small investors are returning to the stock market? That is one of the best signals that it is about to turn south again.

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