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BMO Private Bank

June 13, 2013 11:00 ET

REPEAT-BMO Private Bank Changing Face of Wealth Study: Forty Percent of Washington's Wealthy are Women

- Across North America, women's wealth is increasing eight percent annually

- Eighty-nine percent of affluent Washingtonians have a bachelors and/or graduate degree

- Almost two-thirds are self made; one-quarter are new Americans

- Ninety-four percent of the high-net worth in the state are over the age of 50

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - Today BMO Private Bank released the first in a series of studies examining the wealthy in Washington (defined as those with investible assets of $1 million or more). The inaugural report found that women make up a sizeable percentage of Washington's affluent, accounting for 40 percent of the state's wealthy.

"It's encouraging to see the gender gap narrowing when it comes to wealth accumulation in the state," said Peter Glidden, Managing Director, BMO Private Bank. "As Washingtonians, we should be proud that our state has one of the highest percentages of affluent women in the country. However, the state's financial services industry needs to do a better job of addressing the unique needs of women if we're going to be effective in helping them manage their wealth."

Other key findings from the study included:

  • Sixty-two percent of Washington millionaires are self-made, earning the majority of their wealth on their own. This is below the national average of 67 percent. Less than one percent of high-net worth individuals in Washington inherited the majority of their wealth, compared to three percent nationally.
  • Almost a quarter of the state's wealthy are "new Americans", either immigrating to the U.S. or having at least one parent who was born outside of the country.
  • Washington high-net worth individuals skew older than the national average. Ninety-four percent are over 50 with less than 1 percent under 40. Nationally, 68 percent are over 50 and nearly one-quarter are under 40.

Key National Findings:

On a national level, the study found the following:

  • Two-thirds (67 percent) of high-net worth Americans are self-made millionaires, earning their wealth mostly on their own. Only three percent attributed their wealth to receiving an inheritance.
  • Women make up more than one-third of the nation's wealthy.
  • One-quarter of all high-net worth Americans are under the age of 40.
  • Education is a big indicator of wealth with 54 percent of high-net worth Americans possessing a graduate or professional degree; just eight percent only hold a high school diploma or less.
  • One-third of affluent Americans were either born outside of the United States or are first generation Americans, with at least one parent born elsewhere. Within this group of "new Americans", an overwhelming 80 percent reported that their wealth was self-made.

About BMO Private Bank, a Part of BMO Financial Group

BMO Private Bank offers a comprehensive range of wealth management services that include investment advisory, trust, banking and financial planning to meet the financial needs of high net worth clients. Through integrated teams of experienced financial professionals, BMO Private Bank helps its clients realize their financial and lifestyle goals with solutions that are custom tailored and delivered with the highest level of personalized service.

BMO Private Bank is a brand name used in the United States by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Not all products and services are available in every state and/or location.

The online survey was conducted by Pollara between March 28th and April 11th, 2013 with a random sample of 482 American adults who have $1M+ in investable assets. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 4.5%, 19 times out of 20.

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