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June 13, 2013 14:30 ET

REPEAT-BMO Private Bank Changing Face of Wealth Study: Women Account for More Than One-Third of Missouri's Wealthy

- Thirty-five percent of Missourians with $1 million+ in investible assets are women

- Almost two-thirds of the high-net worth in Missouri are self-made

- Education matters: 88 percent hold at least a college a degree; only eight percent state high school is the highest level of education they have completed

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI and KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - Today BMO Private Bank released the first in a series of studies examining the wealthy in Missouri (defined as those with investible assets of $1 million or more). The inaugural report shows that women are well represented among the state's affluent, accounting for more than one-third (35 percent) of high-net worth Missourians.

"Today's women are controlling more and more wealth and that number is increasing by eight per cent annually," said Dr. Kim Bridges, Financial Planner, BMO Private Bank. "I suspect that, had we done this survey even five years ago, the percentage of women who are among the state's affluent would have been significantly lower."

Dr. Bridges also noted, "Given that women are controlling an increasing amount of wealth, private bankers in Missouri need to do a better job of recognizing the key differences between men and women when it comes to managing their wealth and acknowledging that women tend to make decisions differently than men. Our research indicates that women are looking for clear, honest, and relevant communication regarding product and service offerings."

Other key findings from the study included:

  • There appears to be a connection between education and wealth in Missouri, with 88 percent of the affluent holding at least a college undergraduate degree and half holding a graduate/professional degree. Just eight percent stated that high-school was the highest level of education they have completed.
  • Sixty-three percent reported that their wealth was primarily self-made. Just three percent stated that the majority of their wealth was inherited.
  • Sixteen percent of high-net worth Missourians are "new Americans", having either immigrated to the U.S. themselves or having at least one parent born outside of the country.

"While we weren't especially surprised at the link between education and wealth within the state, it does underscore the need to stress to our kids the important role education can play in helping assure future success," commented Dr. Bridges. "For example, according to the Census Bureau, Americans who hold professional degrees earn six times more than those who do not graduate from high school."

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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