The 2016 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth Survey®asked wealthy Americans about their financial success. They found a majority of wealthy Americans did not inherit their wealth:(Page 4)
  • 52 percent earned their wealth through work or entrepreneurial efforts
  • 32 percent gained affluence through investing
  • 10 percent inherited their money
  • 6 percent relied on other means of accumulating wealth
The wealthy reported their parents emphasized the importance of academic achievement (76 percent), financial discipline (68 percent), and hard work (63 percent).(Page 4)
In addition, they said it’s important to find ways to have a positive impact on the world around them by volunteering their time (61 percent), giving money (74 percent), serving on boards (47 percent), and working for non-profit organizations (16 percent).(Pages 5 & 16)
In fact, the popularity of impact investing is growing. Wealthy Americans said investing for positive social impact is important because:(Pages 16-17)
  • It’s the right thing to do (54 percent)
  • Corporate America should be accountable for its actions (53 percent)
  • I want to have a positive impact on the world (49 percent)
  • Companies that are good corporate citizens are less susceptible to business risk (40 percent)
  • Companies that are good corporate citizens have better financial performance (38 percent)

The issues that were of greatest concern included: environmental protection and sustainability; healthcare quality and access; disease prevention, treatment, or cure; and education.