BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Boston Private, a leading provider of fully integrated wealth management, trust and private banking services, today released the “Why of Wealth,” a comprehensive survey unveiling the psychological factors playing into how Americans interact with their wealth. This new report aims to unearth the emotional relationship we have with our finances: why we pursue wealth, how wealth makes us feel, what are the ‘costs’ of wealth, among others.

According to Boston Private’s survey, despite the oft-heard wisdom that wealth does not buy happiness, most Americans still pursue wealth for emotional rather than material reasons: 65 percent of those surveyed define wealth as peace of mind, while 54 percent define it as happiness.

The “Why of Wealth” survey found that while the purpose of wealth evolves as our lives change, achieving wealth is an ongoing journey, with numerous drivers and, at times, paradoxes. For example, while 72 percent of the wealthy Americans surveyed name family as the biggest driver for pursuing wealth, nearly half feel that the cost of that pursuit is less time spent with family (47 percent).

Boston Private’s “Why of Wealth” survey also found wealth relationships greatly varied by demographic:

Men are more driven to pursue wealth for a passion or hobby than women (29 percent vs. 15 percent)
Millennials feel the greatest sense of responsibility across age groups to give back when thinking about their wealth (60 percent)
Business owners are much more likely to think of wealth as representing potential compared to non-business owners (44 percent vs. 16 percent)
Ultra-high-net-worth individuals are the least likely to believe that wealth enables a better quality of life compared to everyone else (22 percent vs. 43 percent)
Boston Private commissioned this new study as part of its ongoing Why of Wealth campaign, which seeks to better understand the complex drivers behind people’s relationships with and attitudes toward wealth.

“We wanted to discover what wealth really means, the emotional aspects that the investment management industry has largely overlooked,” said David Murphy, Head of Wealth Advisory at Boston Private Wealth. “Putting aside specific asset classes or investment decisions – we wanted to better understand the root motivations that drive people to build and achieve wealth. What we found was that these drivers are fluid and highly nuanced – and how we help people create wealth is not simply about financial figures, but about the realization of emotional aspirations.”

About the Survey

The survey, commissioned by Boston Private, was conducted by CoreData Research LLC among a group of 300 respondents located in the United States with net investable assets between $1 million and $20 million. The data was collected in a quantitative manner with a single primary methodology for generating actionable insights from respondents. Researchers developed questions that were aimed to prove or disprove various hypotheses that are presented in the research and the data was summarized according to the themes that are reflected in the survey.

About Boston Private

Boston Private is a leading provider of fully integrated wealth management, trust and private banking services. For over 30 years, Boston Private has taken a highly personalized approach to serving the complex financial needs of individuals, families, business owners, private partnerships, nonprofits and community partners. Boston Private is also an active provider of financing for affordable housing, first-time homebuyers, economic development, social services, community revitalization and small businesses.

Headquartered in Boston, Boston Private has offices across the U.S. including Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Palm Beach. Private banking and trust services are provided through Boston Private Bank & Trust Company. Wealth management services are provided through Boston Private Wealth LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Boston Private Bank & Trust Company.

Boston Private Bank & Trust Company is a subsidiary of Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPFH). For more information, visit

Published 11 June 2018