North America has the largest number of High-Net-Worth-Households (HNWH’s) in the world, followed by Europe and then Asia. How did North Americans get so wealthy?

Most will assume it’s through an inheritance, but it’s important to note that most HNWH’s in North America are self-made and the primary source of wealth is business ownership followed by income from employment. Many are commissioned sales professionals, and many are “C-Level” executives.

Knowing that the majority of wealth in North America comes from business owners, highly paid executives, and commissioned sales professionals, you may want to explore targeting these affluent groups.

Here are some interesting statistics about HNWH’s:

  • Fewer than 10% inherited 10% or more of their wealth
  • More than 50% never received as much as $1 in inheritance
  • 91% never received, as a gift, as much as $1 of the ownership of a family business
  • Nearly 50% never received any college tuition from their parents or relatives
  • Fewer than 10% believe they will ever receive an inheritance in the future

With an average income of $150,000, many luxury homeowners view themselves as successful, not as rich. A survey by The Shullman Research Center found that less than 15% of Luxury homeowners want to be recognized as wealthy.  Build “success” into your vocabulary, ditch “rich”, and realize luxury homeowners attribute their wealth to hard work over the long term.

Here are some more insights into HNWH’s:

The majority of high net worth households prefer to be low key. These “highly successful” clients are often very private individuals that value discretion. It’s for this reason one mortgage professional we know has the following on her business cards “Discretion and exceptional service based on a foundation of trust”.

Luxury homeowners love a bargain. According to American Express Platinum Luxury Survey, 83% of affluent shoppers say they bought their last luxury item when it was on sale and that this was an important part of their decision to buy. Luxury homeowners redeem coupons and take advantage of rebates and special offers. This doesn’t mean they don’t shop in high-end stores, but they do comparison shop and they like taking advantage of special offers.

The Irish have an expression: “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are”. Who you have talking about you will ultimately define the clients you will be working with in the future.  And by selectively working with professionals who are at the top of their game, you will end up elevating your game and taking your business to the next level.