May 25, 2007

ARE THE RICH GETTING RICHER? I don’t know, but they’re certainly getting more numerous:

To enter the nation’s top 1%, you need more than $5 million. And if you get there, you’ll have plenty of newly-arrived company: The number of U.S. “pentamillionaires” has quadrupled in the past 10 years, to more than 930,000. Indeed, 70% of the nation’s big family fortunes are less than 13 years old, according to research and marketing firm The Harrison Group. And the people who amassed them are, first and foremost, entrepreneurs — risk takers for whom wealth is a byproduct of pursuing their passion.

What got them to the highest level? It isn’t necessarily stock-market savvy: On average, folks who recently hit the $5 million mark report that only 10% of their money came through passive investments. And only 10% of pentamillionaires inherited their wealth.

“Pentamillionaire” is a new term to me. I guess plain old millionaires have become so commonplace that somebody had to up the ante.

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