The study, titled "Affluent Market Insights 2010," had gotten ink for its finding that the number of millionaires (again, net worth, not counting primary residence) has rebounded to 7.8 million in 2009 from 6.7 million in 2008. "These aren't necessarily new millionaires," said George Walper, Jr., president of Spectrem. The number, rather, reflects a rebound in certain investment classes, most notably equities.
For the richies, investable assets such as equities are the largest category of their net worth. Walper noted that real estate outside a millionaire's primary residence (think: a combination of vacation homes and investable real estate such as apartment buildings) tends to be 8-15 percent of his or her total net worth (excluding again the primary residence/castle).
"As other investment categories, such as real estate (either residential or income-producing), and the value of people's private businesses, rebound, we will start to see 2006-2007-type numbers," Walper said.