Ultra High Net Worth or High Net Worth

hutch x chris   by Hutch Ashoo and Chris Snyder · Updated February 4, 2023 · 8 min read ✦

ultra high net worth

What is ultra high net worth? High net worth individuals have at least $1 million but less than $10 million in net worth. You’re different. As an ultra-high net worth individual, your financial picture, life goals, how you spend your time, what you need, and what’s important to you differ radically from everyone else, including high net worth individuals, who have less than $10 million in net worth.

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A generally accepted definition of an ultra-high-net-worth individual is someone who holds assets worth at least $30 million. This group of individuals holds a large portion of the world's wealth.

A high-net-worth individual is someone who holds assets worth at least $1 million but less than $30 million, while an ultra-high-net-worth individual's assets are worth over $30 million.

The ultra high net worth population consists of approximately 600,000 individuals globally. Their combined net worth is about $35 trillion, and 12% of them live in North America.

In the United States, there are approximately 69,500 ultra high net worth (UNHW) individuals worth at least $30 million. Many of them live in the District of Columbia, Wyoming, New York, and Montana.

Ultra-high net worth individuals focus on protecting and growing their wealth so that they can continue living comfortable into old age, as well as provide security for their loved ones.

If you have savings of at least $100,000, you should be able to grow that to $1 million within a year, assuming you make the right investments, which includes risking your capital.

Above ultra-high net worth is the category of Super Rich, those individuals who own over $500 million in assets, and the category of Ultra Rich, who own over $1 billion in assets.

Some very wealthy individuals waste their money with unwise spending and investment habits. Some of them have trouble making and keeping friends, and some of them are addicted to making money.

HNW individuals can protect their money by investing in low-risk investments. They invest in a diversity of products to avoid any big losses. They invest in a financial advisor they can trust.

Wealthy people invest in bank accounts and mutual funds, as well as real estate and other hard goods (boats and planes, gold and artworks). They may invest in cryptocurrencies as well.

Ultra High Net Worth or High Net Worth? 3 Things That Matter

Ultra High Net Worth or High Net Worth? 3 Things That Matter

  1. Higher Wealth Demands Greater Customization
  2. Higher Wealth Means Greater Need for Additional Services
  3. Knowing Your Worth Clarifies Your Goals


What is ultra high net worth?

Most wealth advisors say that the value of an ultra high net worth individual’s wealth starts at $30 million. 

You may also be curious to know:

How many people in the world are ultra-high net worth?

According to published data, 11.8 million American households in the US are considered high net worth. These households correspond to three percent of the US population. Also, there are 33 million UHNW individuals worldwide, half of them living in North America.

This amount of wealth requires the services of a skilled wealth manager who can customize a financial plan to each individual’s needs and wants.

Those differences are the subject of this post.

Consider this:

Have you ever sat and listened to financial ‘experts,’ and felt like what they’re saying doesn’t really apply to you?

So many advisors and commentators are speaking to the masses, trying to appeal and relate to as many people as possible. But when they do that, they immediately feel less relevant to you.

Do you want to hear a talk about paying down credit cards? Or paying off car loans? Or how to improve your credit? No – these aren’t the problems that concern people living the ultra high net worth lifestyle.

What you’re feeling in those types of situations is quite normal. And, it’s completely unacceptable, because it wastes your time. You need something more. And to find it, you first need to understand why you’re different.

When you’re done with this article, you’ll understand much more about yourself, your needs, and how to get them met in a more efficient and effective manner.

Let’s break this down:

There are at least three distinct differences that set you and anyone with ultra high net worth apart from everyone else.

These differences have a profound impact on things like:

  • Managing your investments
  • Creating estate plans
  • Minimizing taxes
  • Allocating your assets to protect your wealth from sudden market crashes.

In addition to the 3 differences you’ll find in this article, you can find much more depth in our signature work, 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning, you can get your free copy here.

Just so we’re clear:

At Pillar Wealth Management, we work exclusively with high net worth, as well as ultra high net worth investors with $5 million to $500 million in investable assets. If you are looking for a qualified team of wealth managers, click here to book a free consultation with us.

Now, it is essential to understand the differences between high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals in your city or state.

Here are three of them:

ultra high net worth individuals

1. Higher Wealth Demands Greater Customization

At least – it should.


If you have $10 million in liquid assets, your investment plan should not be lumped in with people who have less than 1% of your net worth. And to be clear, this is not about being ‘better’ than people with less money. It’s simply a reality:

With great wealth comes great complexity.

Click to Tweet: With great wealth comes great complexity.

You need customized investment planning. If you don’t get it, you put your assets at unnecessary risk. The scale of loss you face if you do it like everyone else far outweighs that of others. For example, suppose two investors lose 33% of their portfolio value in a market crash, such as the one caused by the coronavirus.

Market Crash

An ultra high net worth investor who had $75 million will lose $25 million. A more typical investor who has $200,000 will lose $67,000. Now, losing $67k is no picnic if all you have is $200k, so let’s not minimize that.

But let’s get real:

Losing $25 million simply does not compare. This is generational wealth. To learn more about how a wealth manager can prevent this from happening, order a free copy of our book, 7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning

Here’s the frustrating part:

An ultra high net worth investor should not be exposed to this much risk. Ever.

But cookie-cutter financial plans from big banks, Wall Street, and discount brokers have driven us to write this post to warn and educate ultra high net worth families about the devastation such losses would inflict.

At Pillar Wealth Management, we utilize a variety of techniques that can secure your portfolio and virtually eliminate the chances of you suffering these kinds of losses. To learn more about this, click here to read our guide on how to improve portfolio performance.

high net worth investors

We’ve seen investors lose as much as 80% of their wealth in market crashes due to poor financial planning from other firms.

Can you imagine?

The stakes for high net worth and ultra high net worth households are too high. 

Here’s the good news:

There is a better way. Customized financial planning – based upon your goals and preferred lifestyle outcomes – offers the greatest potential for long term financial stability.

Very few financial advisors offer 100% customized financial planning, even to ultra high net worth investors. They will tell you they do. But it’s not at the level you are expecting, and that’s why you never quite feel like you’re in the right place when you’re listening to the ’experts’ talk.

It’s in your best interest to talk with someone who does both: expertly advises high net worth clients and offers custom wealth planning services.

To understand the importance of custom wealth management in more detail, we recommend reading our free book.

A call to Hutch Ashoo, CEO and Co-founder of Pillar Wealth Management, would be a good first step if you want to see how fully custom financial planning looks and feels when it is created for someone with ultra high net worth. Our firm does nothing but custom wealth planning for high and ultrahigh net worth investors.

high net worth individuals

2. Higher Wealth Means Greater Need for Additional Services

Many wealth managers set minimum requirements on who they will work with. Pillar Wealth Management requires a $5 million minimum. Why? Part of the reason is because the array of services you need increases with greater wealth.

This is mind-blowing:

As part of our across-the-board fee of 1% (reduced for $10+ million clients), you would get all of the following white glove services at no extra charge:

Coordination of estate planning that minimizes taxes and protects assets from creditors Coordination of estate planning that minimizes taxes and protects assets from creditors
Quarterly updates rebalancing and portfolio adjustments Quarterly updates, rebalancing, and portfolio adjustments
Friendly humans answer your calls or call back the same day Friendly humans answer your calls or call back the same day
Insurance advice or counsel Insurance advice or counsel
Trustee selection family governance assistance Trustee selection & family governance assistance
Tax planning coordination with your tax advisor accountant and other key members of your team Tax planning coordination with your tax advisor, accountant, and other key members of your team
MA assistance for businesses M&A assistance for businesses
Manage family business succession Manage family business succession
Help with debt consulting lines of credit mortgages etc Help with debt consulting (lines of credit, mortgages, etc)
Assist with college education planning such as 529s Assist with college education planning (such as 529s)
Set up assistance with aging parents and care giving Set up assistance with aging parents and care-giving

Try getting even half of these from a typical financial advisory firm, big bank, or discount broker.

You won’t.

It’s just not their business model. Why? Because they serve the masses, and have designed their processes and methods around meeting the needs of a vast number of people, because most people have fairly similar needs when you boil it all down.

But not you.

Anyone with ultra high net worth will need most if not all of the highly specialized wealth management services listed above.

You are different. And you need a different level of service from a wealth management firm.

If you are interested in learning about how to find a financial advisor that can offer you this approach, click here to read our guide.


3. Knowing Your Worth Clarifies Your Goals

Let’s dream a little:

If you have $25 million upon retirement, you might set a goal to have $70 million remaining when you die so you can pass on an ultra high net worth legacy.

That’s just one dream. You could come up with a hundred more for each person, because everyone with ultra high net worth has a very different life situation.

Knowing your goals comes first, because that determines the customized investment plan you’ll use to reach these goals, and it will direct you to the additional services you’ll need to make it happen.

Are you getting the picture?

Do you see how all three of these reasons relate to each other?

This is what it means to be ultra high net worth. You don’t just have ultra high net worth or live an ultra high net worth lifestyle. You are ultra high net worth.

The farther up that scale you go, the more services and customization you need in order to achieve your expanding set of goals and lifestyle dreams.

What’s possible for you is far beyond the comprehension of the average person, even someone with one or two million dollars. They’re still trying to figure out how to become ultra high net worth. You already are.

ultra high net worth lifestyle

Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) Explained

Currently, UHNWI are those individuals with $30 million or more in investable assets, that is, assets that can be relatively easy to convert to cash. So, this does not include real estate, for example. Moreover, some financial institutions may have their own definition of UHNW.

Characteristics of UHNWI

Ultra High Net Worth Individuals seek to preserve and grow their wealth. Therefore, they watch and control their expenses and purchasing behaviors so that they can reinvest their earnings for growth.

UHNWI take advantage of the best financial and wealth managers to help them reach their financial goals. Because they own so much wealth, they feel responsible to ensure that it isn’t diminished by poor investments or bad advice. They also expect their advisors to help them minimize the taxes they need to pay.

Many UHNWI are self-made. They start and develop businesses that are successful.

Where do UHNWI Live?

The top 10 countries with the greatest number of UHNW individuals are the United States, China, Japan, Germany, Canada, France, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and India. At least one-third of UHNWI reside in the US.     

UHNWI and Their Investments      

UHNWI will diversify their holdings to control their risk. Therefore, they will invest a substantial part of their wealth in low-earning products such as CDs, bank accounts, and money market or mutual funds. They will also invest in alternative investments such as cryptocurrencies. Then, some of their wealth will go into stocks and bonds as well as real estate and other “hard” goods such as collectibles, art, and vintage automobiles.


Defining an Ultra High Net Worth Individual (UHNWI) 

An UHNWI is considered to be someone who has at least $30 million in investable assets, that is, assets that are easily converted to cash. This category exists so that banks and investment firms can provide financial plans and asset management strategies that are aimed at growing and protecting the net worth of these ultra-rich individuals.

The World of UHNWI  

There are approximately 200,000 – 500,000 UHNWI in the world today. Although many UHNWI have inherited their wealth, many more (at least half) have earned the status of UHNW through starting and owning businesses, and of these, at least 20% have earned their wealth in banking and finance.


Of course, UHNWI benefit from being able to rest secure in their ability to be financial comfortable. But in addition, their status allows them to have access to special treatment from their bank or other investment firm.

If you have over $10 million in liquid assets, then click here to download our guide on finding a financial advisor that offers a high level of customization.

But take note:

Pillar Wealth Management only accepts those clients that understand the difference… that appreciate the value of a custom wealth management plan for their assets. If you do, or you just want to know more about what a custom wealth plan entails, schedule a call to Hutch Ashoo, CEO and Co-founder of Pillar Wealth Management.

With his 30+ years of experience, Hutch can explain exactly how a custom wealth plan is not just created but modified over time according to changing circumstances.

We encourage you to call Hutch. As a high or ultra high net worth investor, your portfolio… your family… your legacy may depend on it.

Ask Pillar Wealth Management for Help Clarifying and Achieving Your UHNW Goals

Schedule a call with CEO and co-founder Hutch Ashoo


To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

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