By Jonnelle Marte
Alas, there are some people who are lucky enough to be both young and rich.
And a report released last month by Capgemini Consulting showed some interesting trends in the strategies young millionaires use to manage their money.
In many ways, millionaires under 40 are even more conservative than their boomer counterparts. They are more likely to hold on to cash, less likely to invest in stocks and more prone to stashing money in alternative investments.
The findings, combined with other studies on how the younger-than-40 crowd handle their money, may even offer lessons for people who don’t have much wealth yet but are striving for it.
Here are some of the money management strategies that stand out among the young and wealthy.
They have plenty of cash on hand. Millionaires under 40 held about a third of their total assets in cash, including physical cash and money kept in the bank, like a checking account, according to the report. When asked why it was important for them to have so much cash, 17 percent of young investors said they wanted to be ready to pounce on the right investment opportunities when they arise. Thirty one percent said they wanted money on hand to be able to live the lifestyle they want. (Those vacations, shopping trips and nice meals need to be paid for somehow.)
Millennials who are more concerned with paying off their debt and covering the bills may have a hard time relating to that mentality. But some of the motivations pushing young millionaires to have cash in the bank aren’t that different from the reasons encouraging other millennials to build up a cash cushion. About 28 percent of young millionaires said it was important for them to have cash as a way to protect themselves from market volatility, according to Capgemini. It’s in line with other studies suggesting that millennials are nervous about taking on too much risk with their savings, even if they won’t need the money for a while. But there is a cost to holding too much cash, said Greg Popera, a private wealth adviser with Merrill Lynch. People who neglect to invest at least part of their funds in stocks, real estate and other assets may miss out on potentially higher returns over time, he said.
They spread their bets. As for the part of their wealth that is being invested, the young and wealthy are not relying too much on any single approach. Roughly 30 percent of their assets were held with wealth managers who could help them build a portfolio of stocks, bonds and other traditional investments. But about 40 percent of their portfolios were split up among less traditional investments including real estate, a business and other alternative investments.
That broad category of alternative investments can include gold, hedge funds or other asset classes that are expected to behave differently than the stock market, financial advisers say. For example, while stock markets were plunging on the day after Britain announced it had voted to leave the European Union, the price of gold soared.