Tags: Number | millionaires | rose | 4.5

Booming Stock Market Grows New Crop of Millionaires

Saturday, 16 Mar 2013 05:05 PM

By Dan Weil

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Stock market strength pushed the number of millionaire households in the United States to 8.99 million last year, up 4.5 percent from 8.6 million in 2011.

The record high came before the financial crisis – 9.2 million in 2006, according to Spectrem Group, a wealth research firm, CNBC reports.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index generated a 16 percent return last year. With its 10.2 percent return so far this year, the millionaire record may already have been broken, Spectrem says.

Editor's Note: Unthinkable Haunts Investors: Evidence for Imminent 90% Stock Market Drop. 

While the number of households worth $1 million or more and the number worth $5 million or more are near their all-time peaks, the number of households worth $500,000 or more, known as the affluent, isn’t.

That number totaled 14.3 million last year, far below the 2007 record of 15.7 million in 2007.

This divergence among the wealthy stems from the fact that millionaire households have more stock, Catherine McBreen, president of Spectrem Group's Millionaire Corner, tells CNBC.

"The reason the affluents haven't recovered as quickly is their stock holdings," she says. "Many of them simply pulled out of the market. They have more cash. But more of the high-net-worth households stayed in."

Until Friday's modest downturn, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen 10 days in a row, its best streak since 1996.

“It’s been a long time since you’ve seen momentum both on the market and technical front being supported by economic fundamentals,” Jeffrey Davis, chief investment officer at Lee Munder Capital Group, tells Bloomberg.

“In spite of the fact the market’s not as cheap as it once was, it’s looking like the rally should
continue.”

Editor's Note: Unthinkable Haunts Investors: Evidence for Imminent 90% Stock Market Drop.

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