U.S. millionaire count hits record
New report finds households with a net worth of $1M or more rises 11 percent, while those with $5 million or more soars 26 percent.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) The number of households with a net worth of $1 million or more, not including the primary home, rose 11 percent to a record 8.3 million in 2005, according to a report released Wednesday by the Spectrem Group.

That's the second year in a row the millionaire account hit an all-time high.

The consulting firm, which focuses on the affluent market, also found that the number of households with a net worth of $5 million or more rose 26 percent to a record 930,000.

Households with a net worth between $500,000 and $1 million also hit an all-time high of 14 million, up 7 percent.

"Clearly, the stock market, which posted solid improvement in 2005, was one reason for the advance. However, for the wealthiest Americans it appears the increased use of international markets and alternative investments were key drivers of their improvement," said Spectrem Group managing director Catherine S. McBreen, in a statement.

Among affluent households (i.e. those with $500,000 or more in net worth, excluding the value of a primary residence) the largest portion of their total assets -- 45 percent on average were in stocks, bonds, managed accounts, IRAs, mutual funds, deposits and alternative investments such as hedge funds.

Their other assets were held in privately held businesses (15 percent), principal residence (14 percent), pensions and 401(k)s (11 percent), real estate (9 percent), insurance and annuities (5 percent) and restricted stock (1 percent).

Spectrem surveyed 1,014 households between September and November 2005. The survey was conducted online and by mail.

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