Financial Services for the Very High Net Worth (VHNW)

Financial Services for the Very High Net Worth (VHNW)

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The financial services industry always rises to the task of profitably serving the needs of the most affluent Americans. The industry’s advisors and wealth managers have pivoted their strategies as they respond to the mutability of wealth and the wealthy. Over time, wealth managers have seen every characteristic of wealth management change; from the magnitude of that wealth (today, the 10 richest Americans own 288% more of the world’s wealth than in 1960) to its origins in entrepreneurship rather than inheritance and to the holding of wealth in a sophisticated array of investment vehicles rather than bank trusts.

The new Packaged Facts report, “Financial Services for the Very High Net Worth (VHNW)” analyzes each segment of the affluent market (high-net-worth, very high-net-worth and ultra high-net-worth) and its relationship with the financial services industry. The report offers a particular focus on the very high-net-worth (truly affluent) segment.

Two concurrent trends have left a gap in market research into the affluent market: The rise of defined contribution plans and the increasing wealth of the ultra high-net-worth. The rise of defined contribution retirement plans (e.g., 401(k)s) shifted retirement savings obligations from employers and their pension plans to employees themselves. Each time an employee changes jobs or retires, the balance in their retirement savings account moves with them, shifting over $500 billion a year from 401(k)s to traditional IRAs. This “new” money funneling into traditional financial services companies offering rollover IRA accounts created an industry-wide focus on the mass affluent and high-net-worth markets ($500,000 to $5 million in investable assets).

The ultra high-net-worth individual, with $30 million or more in investable assets, has always beguiled the money management industry. The wealthiest Americans, with their multi-generational wealth, corporations and foundations and complex financial and estate planning strategies have generated enormous fees for financial services firms and as the cohort’s control of American wealth continues to increase (from 29% of household net worth in 2007 to 32% in 2022), the competition to serve the top 300,000 of the wealthiest American households only intensifies.

This new research has a particular focus on the group of wealthy individuals who comprise the very high-net-worth segment (those with $5 million to $30 million in net worth). With the financial services industry focused on the wealth directed their way through rollover IRAs and their traditional focus on the ultra high-net-worth market, the group of 1.8 million households, that are all in the top 1% and top 2% of households by net worth, have needed a fresh analysis to understand who is in the very high-net-worth category, what these households own and how their assets are managed, as well as the group’s demographics and their lifestyle preferences.

Packaged Facts estimates that the truly affluent generate, at a minimum, $568.9 billion in asset management and other financial transaction fees for the financial services industry.

About Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, the food and beverage market, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through

  • Scope & Methodology
    • Report Scope
    • Report Methodology
  • Executive Summary
    • Why the Truly Affluent/VHNW Market?
    • The Four Buckets of Investors
    • Different Generations Need and Want Different Products and Services
  • Wealth of American Households
    • Global and U.S. Economies Determine the Top 1%
      • Wealth Concentration in the U.S.
      • Post-World War II, Many of the Richest Have Been Entrepreneurs
      • In 1957, 60% of the Richest Americans Had Inherited Their Fortunes
      • U.S.' s 8 Richest are Worth $1.1 Trillion
      • In 2022, Richest Americans are Entrepreneurs
      • Global Wealth Has Surged Since 1960
      • In 2019, Top 10% Saw Their Percentage Ownership of U.S. Assets Decline
      • While Share of Assets for Top 10% Declined, Top 1%'s Grew
      • Bottom 50% of Households Did Not Recover From the Global Recession Until 2016
      • Global Recession Led to Asset Stagnation of More Affluent Population Percentiles
      • Composition of Assets Change as Household Wealth Declines
    • Net Worth Mirrors U.S. Society
      • Age and Wealth
        • Table Median Family Net Worth by Age of Respondents, 2016 and 2019, (2019 dollars in thousands and percent change)
      • Education and Wealth
        • Table Median Family Income by Education of Respondent, 2016 and 2019 (dollars in thousands and percent change)
        • Table Median Family Net Worth by Education of Respondents, 2016 and 2019, (2019 dollars in thousands and percent change)
      • Home Ownership and Wealth
        • Table Median Family Net Worth by Housing Status of Respondent, 2016 and 2019, (dollar in thousands and percent change)
      • Race, Ethnicity and Wealth
        • Table Median Value of Assets for Households, by Type of Asset Owned and Race or Ethnicity, 2020 (dollars)
        • Table Net worth by race or ethnicity, 2010 - 2019 (dollars in thousands)
        • Table Before-Tax Median Family Income, by Race or Ethnicity of Respondent, 2016 and 2019 (dollars in thousands and percent change)
        • Table Type and Amount of Financial Gift and Level of Education by Race and Ethnicity, 2020 (dollars in thousands and percentages)
      • Home Ownership and Net Worth
        • Table Homeownership Rates Among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics Across Age Groups, 2019 (percentage)
  • Demographics of the VHNW
    • Demographics of the VHNW
      • Counting the VHNW/VHNW
        • Table Growth in Wealthy U.S. Households, by Type, 2017 - 2021 (number in millions and percent change)
      • Breaking Out the Data: Who's In the Top 1%?
        • Table Assets by Wealth Percentile Group, 2022: Q1 (dollars in trillions)
        • Table Assets by Wealth Percentile Group, 2022: Q1 (percent of total per group)
      • Very High Net Worth is Relative
        • Table Timeline Schedule for Joining Top 1%: Net Worth Levels by Age 2022 (dollars)
      • Where Do the VHNW Live?
        • Table U.S. Subregional Preferences of Affluent/VHNW 2022 (percentage)
      • Composition of HNW, VHNW and UHNW Households
        • Table Composition of Affluent Households, 2022 (number in thousands and percentage)
      • Affluents and Employment
        • Table Job Function/Area Of Responsibility of Highest Income Earners ($250K+), 2022 (number in thousands and percentage)
  • Financial Services and the VHNW
    • VHNW Revenue for Financial Services Industry
      • Table Revenue Generated by VHNW for Financial Services Industry, 2022 (dollars in billions)
      • Table Assets of Top 0.1%, 1%, and 10% of U.S. Households, 2018 - 2022 (dollars in trillions)
    • Wealth Management Firms
      • Fintech Enters the Field
        • Table Wealthfront, Assets Under Management and Number of Clients, 2018 - 2022 (dollars in billions and number of clients)
      • Big Brokerages Have Swamped Smaller Robo-Advisors
    • Complex Finances Require Wealth Managers
      • Wealth Managers Access Multiple Layers of Experts for VHNW
      • Perks Offered VHNW are Less Impressive than Those Offered by High End Credit Cards
      • What are the Valuable Privileges Offered to VHNW?
      • Private Capital and the Wealthy Investor
    • Family Offices
      • The Largest Family Offices Have Assets of Billions
    • Bank Accounts
      • Bank of America Private Bank
        • Table Bank of America Preferred Rewards for VHNW Private Bank Clients, 2022
      • Citigold Private Client
    • Wealth Managers
      • Why Do Rich People Earn High Returns?
      • Types of Money Managers
      • The Largest Global Wealth Managers
        • Table Largest Global Wealth Managers, 2021 (billions in dollars)
        • Table Deposit Market Share Growth, Three Largest U.S. Banks 2017-2021 (dollars in billions)
        • Table UBS Global Wealth Management, 2020 - 2021, (dollars in millions and billions and percent change)
        • Table Credit Suisse Results Overview, 2Q 2022 (Swiss francs in millions)
        • Table Credit Suisse Wealth Management Divisional Results, 2021 - 1Q 2022 (Swiss francs in millions and billions and percent change)
        • Table Morgan Stanley Financial Summary Highlights, Q2 2022 (dollars in millions and billions)
        • Table Bank of America: Global Wealth & Investment Management Key Indicators, 2021 and 2022 (dollars in millions)
        • Table J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, 2006 - 2021 (dollars in billions and trillions)
        • Table Goldman Sachs, Financial Highlights for Private Banking and Wealth Management, 2Q and YTD, 2021 and 2022 (dollars in millions and percent change)

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