Millionaires money

Where Do Rich People Keep Their Money?

Where do millionaires keep their money? Considering that high-net-worth people’s bank accounts have a lot of zeros, they should find the safest place to put their hard-earned money, don’t you think?

Well, after detailed research, I found that there are actually many options. Most rich people put their money in different financial and real assets, such as stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and retirement accounts.

Others prefer safe and secure investment options to protect their wealth, including certificates of deposits (CDs) and high-yield savings.

What do these trends tell us? After analyzing millionaires’ behavior and investment decisions, I realized that diversifying their portfolios is key to protecting their money.

Rich people understand that diversifying their investments and building a well-rounded portfolio will protect their hard-earned money, even during turbulent times.

In this regard, here are a few of the most popular places for rich people to keep their money.

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Trust me. You are not the only person who has wondered: “Where do millionaires keep their money?” Bank of America conducted a study on wealthy US citizens to find this information.

This Private Bank Study’s results showed that many millionaires keep their money in stocks, retirement accounts, and mutual funds. Actually, over 55% of their wealth is held in these assets!

However, a significant number of millionaires, including young people, invest in real estate. The study’s results showed that it’s the only investment option with uniform interest across all ages.

Other popular options among wealthy investors were the following:

  • Emerging market equities

  • International equities

  • Direct investment into companies

  • Companies and funds focusing on ESG

  • Tangible assets

  • Cryptocurrencies or digital assets

  • Own personal brand or company

  • Private debt

Many people mistakenly believe that rich people keep their money in special places or invest in assets they don’t have access to.

However, most millionaires put their money in investments that anyone could access, whether they’re just starting out in this world or have a background in finance.

If you have enough money, even if you aren’t a millionaire, you can consider several investments, such as private equity funds. We don’t need to be part of a special and sophisticated group of rich people to have access to many markets!

Now that we know we also have multiple opportunities to invest in if we aren’t rich, let’s learn about the most popular options.

  1. Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash Equivalents

Do billionaires keep their money in banks? Are they willing to save cash? Do they spend all their income on luxuries?

I know that many people believe that millionaires spend their money renting luxury yachts and throwing expensive parties attended by the most famous celebrities. However, the truth is that most rich individuals are fugal.

Millionaires know that they cannot spend all their money if they want to invest to increase their wealth. Therefore, although they use their high income to cover their necessities and some luxuries, they save a lot.

Besides saving money for themselves, millionaires also expect their families to do the same. As a result, many keep huge parts of their money in cash. Some also choose liquid cash equivalents to save.

Do Millionaires Put Their Money in Bank Accounts?

Cash is a good option for risk-averse investors. Therefore banks often set low-interest rates for checking, savings, and money market accounts.

However, there’s another question we should answer to learn more about this strategy: Where do millionaires bank their money?

Emergency Accounts

Based on what I could see during my research, rich people tend to establish an emergency account before considering other investment options.

Also, most millionaires bank differently than the standard investor. They usually choose a private banker to handle their bank accounts and manage their wealth.

Many people are also wondering how much money millionaires keep in cash. Well, this is what I found out: The average rich person may put as much as 25% of their income in cash.

This option allows them to offset market downturns. Also, many investors want to have cash available because it serves as insurance for their portfolios.

Considering Cash Equivalents

When is it wise to choose cash equivalents? These alternatives are also financial instruments and can be as liquid as cash. That’s why they’re popular investment options for rich people.

These are the cash equivalents that millionaires usually consider:

  • Commercial paper

  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)

  • Money market mutual funds

  • Treasury Bills

  • Government bonds

Treasury Bills are popular because millionaires can roll them over to reinvest and liquidate these assets when they need cash. Since they’re short-term notes issued by the US government, these instruments are usually safe.

Also, Treasury Bills are usually available at a discount and often leave a profit when we sell them (It’s the difference between the face value and the selling price.)

Zero-Balance Accounts

Many millionaires also have zero-balance accounts, which are managed through private banks.

Rich people usually keep their money in cash or cash equivalents, writing checks on their accounts. The private bank, which serves as the custodian, sells off liquid assets at the end of a business day to settle up for that period.

However, high-net-worth individuals shouldn’t worry about FDIC insurance since their money is not held in a custodial private bank’s name but in their name.

Safe Deposit Boxes

Finally, there are safe deposit boxes. Many millionaires choose this option and put their cash in multiple currencies.

We can find safe deposit boxes all over the world. Therefore, each transaction we conduct uses the currency of the country we choose.

  1. Stocks and Stock Funds

Stock Funds

Most of us have also wondered: “What do rich people do with their money?” Again, thinking that millionaires only buy luxury cars, huge properties, and expensive jewelry is a mistake.

Moreover, high-net-worth investors don’t choose fancy and expensive options to put their money into. Instead, most prefer simplicity. As a result, many rich people invest in dividend-paying stocks and index funds, which almost anyone has access to.

There’s a reason why millionaires tend to choose equity securities: passive income. Most rich people don’t want to spend too much time managing investments but rather invest in assets that can generate income with minimal effort.

It is true that many ultra-rich investors also tend to hold a controlling interest in major companies. However, many millionaires only have a few equity securities in their portfolios.

Index funds are common options, viewed as hands-off investments, for ultra-rich people who want to invest in a specific list of securities. As mentioned, these investors are looking for decent returns but with minimal time management.

In addition, this list of securities also tends to have low fees and offer excellent diversification, which can also benefit investors.

Other investors are also eyeing dividend-paying stocks if they’re looking for passive income. While many care about capital appreciation, it’s often less important than generating current income.

I also discovered that most high-net-worth people work with financial advisors to make a smart financial plan if they want to create different sources of income through dividends. The same is true for those who expect to generate income through real estate investments, but we’ll talk about that later.

In addition, many financial advisors specialize in wealth management, offering financial planning services and managing customers’ portfolios under the same roof. It’s particularly attractive to those hoping to make a profit without spending too much time handling investments.

Fund advisors also walk clients through the investment process, helping them understand the benefits and risks of available options, including passive income investments that they can add to their portfolios.

  1. Real Estate

Real Estate

As mentioned, there’s a significant number of millionaires investing in real estate. I know that rich people love to buy properties in multiple destinations, but this goes beyond having luxurious houses or buildings.

Millionaires looking for the best ways to invest their hard-earned money and protect their wealth also consider real estate investments.

While each rich person has their own strategy, I discovered that many millionaires make their first major real estate investment in a primary home. After that, they buy additional residences and rent them out to tenants.

Many rich people also invest in commercial real estate, including hotels, office buildings, bridges, and stadiums.

However, as mentioned, this is not just about buying luxurious properties and showing them off. Real estate investments are smart moves for most millionaires.

Additionally, after purchasing multiple personal or commercial properties and making a name for themselves in the real estate market, Realtors and agents often bring millionaire deals to buy more units. Rich people who have invested significantly in this industry also have access to more financing options.

Many millionaires have billions tied up in real estate investments. While they may not sound like immediate options for those looking to get quick cash, these investment alternatives are lucrative and can add more zeros to their wealth in the long run.

In addition, real estate investments can also be excellent options for millionaires who expect to put their money into passive income sources. 

  1. Private Equity and Hedge Funds

Equity and Hedge Funds

Often, this investment option is only available to multimillionaires, but it’s a good alternative to consider after we accumulate a certain net worth.

Participating in a hedge fund or buying into a private equity fund are common practices for billionaires, but why does it happen?

Public equity is a well-known investment option for several reasons, including the fact that its shares are traded on stock exchanges. In addition, many rich people choose this alternative because of its liquidity.

We can liquidate our public equity or stock shares at any time!

Many millionaires also invest in private equity funds. However, these investments usually come from universities or other organizations and pension funds. Plus, they’re available to people with at least $250,000 in their balances.

In order to invest in private equity funds, we must be “accredited investors,” which are individuals or organizations that meet certain criteria in terms of net worth and regulations.

Since many ultra-rich people are accredited investors, they put their money in private equity or private equity funds. Unlike public equity, these investment options are not strictly regulated in many areas.

Hedge funds are also popular options, but it is important to understand that they are not the same as private equity. Essentially, these alternatives are pooled funds.

Investors who choose hedge funds rely on different strategies to earn outsized returns. These alternatives are profitable because hedge funds invest in options that managers think will make short-term but high profits.

  1. Commodities


Millionaires also consider other valuable investment instruments, including commodities, such as gold and silver, mineral rights, or cattle.

However, these alternatives are quite complex compared to other options and require storage, which also implies more investment and time management. Therefore, many millionaires simply don’t want to deal with them.

  1. Retirement Accounts

Retirement Accounts

Many millionaires also think about their future and want to have enough money to enjoy peace of mind during their golden years. Thus, they also include their retirement in their investment strategies.

Personally, I think that investing for a comfortable retirement is one of the best decisions anyone can make, whether they’re rich or just starting to build their wealth.

Fortunately, I’m not the only person who thinks about the importance of this strategy. Many people save for retirement as part of their main financial goals.

Everyone, whether a millionaire or not, can rely on retirement accounts to save and keep their money protected. While there are different types, these are the most common:

  • 401(k)s

  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs), including traditional and Roth IRAs

Many high-income earners don’t consider Roth IRAs because these accounts don’t offer many benefits and come with phaseout limits. However, their employers may offer a Roth 401k.

If you want to know which is the best option for you based on your strategy and financial situation, don’t hesitate to seek help from a seasoned financial advisor.

  1. Alternative Investments

Both ultra-rich people and millionaires also tend to keep some of their money in alternative investments. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Tangible assets, such as fine art, rare books, and expensive musical instruments

  • Intellectual property rights for movies or songs

All these options can be very lucrative investments and help them protect their wealth in the long run. Additionally, many of these alternatives have sentimental value.

How Do Millionaires Insure Their Money?

Ensuring their money is also another aspect that millionaires consider, but this depends on the type of investment they choose. As mentioned, sometimes, rich people don’t even have to worry about their assets because they’re held in their name.

However, some people insure their tangible assets, especially if they’re high-value items, such as fine art, precious metals, or expensive musical instruments.

If you work with a financial advisor, you can not only know if you should insure your assets, but you will also review the best alternatives to do so.

Final Thoughts: Do Millionaires Need Financial Advisors?

Determining whether you need a financial advisor depends on your personal situation, strategy, and preferences. Most millionaires invest their money in different assets, so they use experts to manage them or develop a plan that truly benefits and protects their wealth.

I believe that relying on a financial advisor is one of the best decisions any investor can make. If you work alone and don’t know the market or best practices, investing in different options can be risky.

Whether you plan to put your money in mutual funds, personal real estate, hedge funds, or any other alternative, you must have the required skills and knowledge. If you think you aren’t ready to make these investments, hiring a financial advisor is the best solution.

Arthur Karter


Hi, I’m Arthur, and nobody wants to wake up in their 50s like me that they are in serious debt with minimal assets. This wake-up call forced me to reevaluate everything. After going through the school of Hard Knocks, I’m ready to help you by sharing the best retirement choices and how they differ from all the same-old, same-old options that financial advisors sell. These alternatives will help you build and protect your wealth.

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