Wealth in the US: Sizing the Market Opportunity

Powered by

All the vital news, analysis, and commentary curated by our industry experts.


The US is home to the largest affluent population in the world and hosts a very advanced financial services sector, including the most sophisticated mutual fund and equity markets globally. The large affluent population is financially literate with high retail participation in both equities and mutual funds. US wealth managers thus have a lucrative target market onshore. In the future, growth in the affluent population’s liquid assets will be pronounced compared to other developed economies. At the end of 2015, nearly two thirds of the US adult population was considered affluent, making the US home to the largest affluent population in the world. This compares very favorably to Western Europe, the second-largest wealth market in the world, where only 20.1% of the population is considered affluent.


• High net worth (HNW) individuals account for 1.8% of the US population, and their numbers are expected to swell by nearly 7% year-on-year to 2019. Ultra-high net worth individuals (those with over $10m in assets) are expected to increase by over 10%.

• The US retail investments market remains buoyant, but growth slowed significantly throughout 2014 and 2015, largely due to outflows of equities following a bumper year for the stock market in 2013. Against an uncertain economic backdrop, bonds are already bouncing back and are predicted to record 4% year-on-year growth to 2019.

• HNW individuals are now allocating 28.1% of their investible assets outside of traditional investments, with hedge funds the most popular alternative option in 2015 and private equity a relatively close second.

• Offshore investment continues to decrease (now at 6.1%) following the onset of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), with client anonymity and tax efficiency the key drivers.

Reasons to Buy

Benchmark your share of the US wealth market against the current size of the market.

Forecast your future growth prospects using our projections for the market to 2019.

Identify your most promising client segment by analyzing penetration of affluent individuals in the US.

Evaluate your HNW proposition by understanding how FATCA is affecting your HNW clients.

Review your offshore strategy by learning HNW motivations for offshore investments and their preferred booking centers.

private banking
wealth management
North America
mass affluent
mutual funds
hedge funds

Table of Contents


Key findings

Critical success factors


Affluent individuals in the US account for nearly two thirds of the adult population

HNW investors account for

1.8% of the market, and the very rich will get richer

Overall growth of total liquid assets has been highly variable in recent years

Wealth held by affluent investors has risen robustly, providing wealth managers with ample opportunities

US HNW individuals hold over one third of total liquid assets, a share that will rise


2015 saw growth stagnate, and this is unlikely to change over the next five years

The US market is heavily weighted towards equity and mutual funds

The bond market will rise again, but the market will remain weighted to mutual funds and equities

Deposits will see slightly slower but steadier growth, supported by benign inflation and higher interest rates

A moderate rise in inflation and small interest rate hikes will have little effect on the deposit market

GDP growth is also unlikely to strongly affect deposit allocations, especially if there is no real wage upturn on the horizon to kick-start consumer spending

Bonds, equities, and mutual funds are more closely aligned with the fortunes of the stock market

The US stock market has struggled to add value in recent years and has had a rough start to 2016

Retail bonds are set to grow significantly in 2016 as the effects of QE and the zero interest rate policy diminish

The performance of the stock market also has a direct impact on equities and mutual funds


HNW individuals allocate

28.1% of their investible assets outside of traditional investments

Hedge funds are the most popular HNW illiquid asset

HNW individuals hold

6.1% of their assets offshore

Client anonymity and tax efficiency are the biggest drivers of offshore investment

The UK and Japan are now the most popular booking centers for US HNW individuals


Abbreviations and acronyms

Supplementary data








Exchange of information



Liquid assets

Mass affluent

Mutual funds




Verdict Financial's 2015 Global Wealth Managers Survey

Global Retail Investments Analytics methodology


Further reading

About Verdict Financial



Table 1: Income tax rates and income bands for 2016

Table 2: US: number of affluent individuals by asset band (000s), 2011-15

Table 3: US: number of affluent individuals by asset band (000s), 2016e-19f

Table 4: US: value of liquid assets held by affluent individuals by asset band ($bn), 2011-15

Table 5: US: value of liquid assets held by affluent individuals by asset band ($bn), 2016e-19f


Figure 1: 62% of the total US population is affluent, which represents the world's largest wealth opportunity

Figure 2: HNW and mass affluent individuals account for almost all onshore US liquid assets

Figure 3: The US retail savings and investments market will stagnate over the forecast period

Figure 4: Equity and mutual fund holdings account for 67.3% of the total onshore market

Figure 5: The US market is heavily weighted towards equity and mutual funds

Figure 6: Deposits will see steadier growth, adding $2.46tn over four years

Figure 7: IT and financial services account for 37% of the NYSE Composite Index

Figure 8: Retail bond holdings will see strong growth in 2016

Figure 9: Mutual funds and equities mirror the NYSE Index

Figure 10: US retail mutual funds are heavily weighted in equities

Figure 11: Direct property investments are the most popular asset outside traditional liquid allocations among US HNW investors

Figure 12: US HNW individuals allocate 6.1% of their wealth offshore

Figure 13: Client anonymity is the primary reason HNW clients offshore wealth

Figure 14: The UK and Japan are now the booking centers of choice for US HNW citizens

Figure 15: FATCA agreements have been signed across the world

Frequently asked questions

Wealth in the US: Sizing the Market Opportunity standard reports
Currency USD

Can be used by individual purchaser only


Can be shared globally by unlimited users within the purchasing corporation e.g. all employees of a single company

Undecided about purchasing this report?

Enquire Before Buying

Get in touch to find out about multi-purchase discounts

Tel +44 20 7947 2745

Every customer’s requirement is unique. With over 220,000 construction projects tracked, we can create a tailored dataset for you based on the types of projects you are looking for. Please get in touch with your specific requirements and we can send you a quote.

See what our customers are saying

“The GlobalData platform is our go-to tool for intelligence services. GlobalData provides an easy way to access comprehensive intelligence data around multiple sectors, which essentially makes it a one-for-all intelligence platform, for tendering and approaching customers.

GlobalData is very customer orientated, with a high degree of personalised services, which benefits everyday use. The highly detailed project intelligence and forecast reports can be utilised across multiple departments and workflow scopes, from operational to strategic level, and often support strategic decisions. GlobalData Analytics and visualisation solutions has contributed positively when preparing management presentations and strategic papers.”

Business Intelligence & Marketing Manager, SAL Heavy Lift

“COVID-19 has caused significant interference to our business and the COVID-19 intelligence from GlobalData has helped us reach better decisions around strategy. These two highlights have helped enormously to understand the projections into the future concerning our business units, we also utilise the project database to source new projects for Liebherr-Werk to use as an additional source to pitch for new business.”

Market Analyst & Management, Liebherr-Werk

Your daily news has saved me a lot of time and keeps me up-to-date with what is happening in the market, I like that you almost always have a link to the source origin. We also use your market data in our Strategic Business Process to support our business decisions. By having everything in one place on the Intelligence Center it has saved me a lot of time versus looking on different sources, the alert function also helps with this.

Head of Key Accounts, Saab AB

Having used several other market research companies, I find that GlobalData manages to provide that ‘difficult-to-get’ market data that others can’t, as well as very diverse and complete consumer surveys.

Marketing Intelligence Manager, Portugal Foods

Our experience with GlobalData has been very good, from the platform itself to the people. I find that the analysts and the account team have a high level of customer focus and responsiveness and therefore I can always rely on. The platform is more holistic than other providers. It is convenient and almost like a one stop shop. The pricing suite is highly competitive and value for our organisation.

I like reports that inform new segments such as the analysis on generation Z, millennials, the impact of COVID 19 to our banking customers and their new channel habits. Secondly the specialist insight on affluent sector significantly increases our understanding about this group of customers. The combination of those give us depth and breadth of the evolving market.

I’m in the business of answering and helping people make decisions so with the intelligence center I can do that, effectively and efficiently. I can share quickly key insights that answer and satisfy our country stakeholders by giving them many quality studies and primary research about competitive landscape beyond the outlook of our bank. It helps me be seen as an advisory partner and that makes a big difference. A big benefit of our subscription is that no one holds the whole data and because it allows so many people, so many different parts of our organisation have access, it enables all teams to have the same level of knowledge and decision support.

Head of Customer Insight and Research, Standard Chartered

“I know that I can always rely on Globaldata’s work when I’m searching for the right consumer and market insights. I use Globaldata insights to understand the changing market & consumer landscape and help create better taste & wellbeing solutions for our customers in food, beverage and healthcare industries.

Globaldata has the right data and the reports are of very high quality compared to your competitors. Globaldata not only has overall market sizes & consumer insights on food & beverages but also provides insights at the ingredient & flavour level. That is key for B2B companies like Givaudan. This way we understand our customers’ business and also gain insight to our unique industry”

Head of Consumer Sensory Insights, Givaudan

GlobalData provides a great range of information and reports on various sectors that is highly relevant, timely, easy to access and utilise.  The reports and data dashboards help engagement with clients; they provide valuable industry and market insights that can enrich client conversations and can help in the shaping of value propositions. Moreover, using GlobalData products has helped increase my knowledge of the finance sector, the players within it, and the general threats and opportunities.

I find the consumer surveys that are carried out to be extremely beneficial and not something I have seen anywhere else. They provided an insightful view of why and which consumers take (or don’t) particular financial products. This can help shape conversations with clients to ensure they make the right strategic decisions for their business.

One of the challenges I have found is that data in the payments space is often piecemeal. With GD all of the data I need is in one place, but it also comes with additional market reports that provide useful extra context and information. Having the ability to set-up alerts on relevant movements in the industry, be it competitors or customers, and have them emailed directly to me, ensures I get early sight of industry activity and don’t have to search for news.

Senior Account Manager, TSYS
Financial Services
France Life Insurance Market Size and Trends by Line of…
$3,999 | June 2024
Financial Services
Wealth Management Trends and Themes in 2024
$5,250 | May 2024
Financial Services
Peru Insurance Industry - Key Trends and Opportunities to 2028
$1,450 | May 2024
Go even deeper with GlobalData Intelligence Center

Every Company Report we produce is powered by the GlobalData Intelligence Center.

Subscribing to our intelligence platform means you can monitor developments at Wealth in the US: Sizing the Market Opportunity in real time.

  • Access a live Wealth in the US: Sizing the Market Opportunity dashboard for 12 months, with up-to-the-minute insights.
  • Fuel your decision making with real-time deal coverage and media activity.
  • Turn insights on financials, deals, products and pipelines into powerful agents of commercial advantage.