What does it take to be wealthy? $5 million

July 24, 2013: 11:15 AM ET
wealthy five million
Affluent investors say they need at least $5 million to feel wealthy, according to a UBS survey.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Are all millionaires wealthy? Not if you ask them.

A whopping 70% of those with at least $1 million in assets that are invested or available to invest, excluding home values, don't consider themselves to be wealthy, according to a survey of 4,500 affluent investors by UBS. Rather, it's only when they hit the $5 million mark that millionaires begin to feel "wealthy."

Why $5 million? Apparently, that's the level at which most rich people feel they have "no constraints on activities," according to the survey.

Related: Best advice now for getting richer

In addition to feeling like money is no object, most wealthy people also find it important to hold a substantial amount of their fortune in cash because it helps them feel more secure.

"Holding a significant amount of cash is is a critical component of investor confidence, as investors believe these are assets they won't lose," the survey said. "Investors aren't quick to forget the significant losses they endured in 2008."

For the past several years, affluent investors have been holding about 20% of their assets in cash. And though they are aware that cash can lose value over time due to inflation, wealthy investors say they still need significant cash holdings to give them peace of mind.

Calculator: When will you be a millionaire?

Even though they're setting aside a sizable portion of their assets for a rainy day, a majority of respondents are optimistic about the economy and their personal financial situations over the long term.

How to make a million dollars

Most of them aren't too worried about the Federal Reserve's eventual policy changes either, according to the survey. Although recent messages from the central bank and Fed chief Ben Bernanke have sparked volatility in the stock market, most affluent investors believe that the central bank's eventual move to end its stimulus policies will help stabilize the economy.

And a majority of them aren't changing their investment strategy in light of the Fed's upcoming changes.

Join the Conversation
Markets
Sponsored by
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,098.45 18.88 0.11%
Nasdaq 4,580.27 22.58 0.50%
S&P 500 2,003.37 6.63 0.33%
Treasuries 2.34 0.01 0.39%
Data as of 1:13am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.09 0.08 0.50%
Apple Inc 102.50 0.25 0.24%
Intel Corp 34.92 0.27 0.78%
Facebook Inc 74.82 0.96 1.31%
General Electric Co 25.98 -0.03 -0.12%
Data as of Aug 29
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.07%4.28%
15 yr fixed3.18%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.43%
30 yr refi4.05%4.21%
15 yr refi3.17%3.18%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com