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Rich People Are Worried

Wednesday, 5 May 2010 | 11:41 AM ET

Nine out of ten rich people are concerned they may not be able to get richer. Two out of three are “very” concerned. And over half are worried they may not be able to stay as rich as they are now.

And you think you have problems.

Sam Bassett | Riser | Getty Images

These are the results of a wealth survey done by Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC, which polled 80 of its very high net worth clients at a conference in Indian Wells.

The survey targeted what the investment firm calls “Next Generation” high-net worth clients, and some of the most interesting results highlight the impact of money within families.

Sixty percent said wealth has created discomfort in families, 54 percent say money has made it harder to live up to the success of previous generations, and 80 percent are concerned that money could hurt the family legacy—a family’s name or its values and traditions.

Their investments tend to favor international equities and fixed income, and here is their outlook for the next 12 months:

  • 96 percent say stocks will go higher (and nearly all expect bonds to go lower)
  • 75 percent say oil will go higher and gold will fall
  • 87 percent say home prices will rise
  • 93 percent say commercial real estate prices will fall
  • 88 percent say assets like contemporary art will appreciate (and this was BEFORE the Picasso sold…)

But it’s not all about the money.

Most of those surveyed say they are involved in philanthropy, more than half “significantly”, and they plan to continue giving.

You could argue that giving money away sets a positive example to heirs and creates less friction within families because there’s less to fight over.

On the other hand, it could create even more discomfort at family gatherings, as less…is not more.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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