A “Women and Wealth” study released today by Asset Management Advisors shows that the majority of wealthy women are well-educated, working women.

“Women are key decision makers, making up 46 percent of top wealth holders in the U.S., so understanding their needs, views and approach to wealth is critical to helping families successfully manage their wealth,” said AMA’s CEO, Mel Lagomasino, in this press release.

“The study’s findings help debunk some prevalent myths, particularly around affluent women’s involvement, awareness, education and employment,” said Kirby Rosplock, vice president of research & development, who conducted the research.

The study is based on only 100 affluent women (combined minimum net worth exceeding $2 billion), so it’s not a huge survey, but it’s still an interesting read.

Some of the key findings include:

– Surveyed affluent women are not only wealthy, but very well educated: Over 60% of the women indicated that the net worth of their household was between $5 and $100 million. When asked about the level of education completed, over 80% had at least a Bachelor’s degree and over 40% had a Master’s or Ph.D.

– A majority of women concur that they are in control and involved with the management of their wealth: When asked to rate the statement, “I have control of my wealth,” 68% agreed, and over 50% said they are actively involved with the management of their wealth. Women expressed the importance of not relying on a man when it came to their wealth, and the importance of being educated and knowledgeable about wealth management issues.

– A majority of women indicate that their families are philanthropic. Over 85% of women indicated that their families are currently philanthropic, and interviews indicated that women and families are volunteering their time, knowledge and expertise as well as their dollars. Of special note, 43% of women indicated that they serve on a community board(s).

And the executive summary of the full study (PDF) features some impressive statistics. Consider this:

Women comprised 46.3% of the nation’s top wealth holders — a category defined as those whose asset total $675,000 or more. These statistics suggest that approximately 3.4 million women hold more than $5.8 trillion in combined assets.

Over the next few decades, it is estimated that $41 trillion will pass from one generation to th enext in the United States as 78 million Baby Boomers retire. Because women, on average, live seven years longer than their male counterparts, a substantial portion of this wealth will likely come into the hands of women. In the United States, older women outnumber older men, and the gap is widening. […] The confluence of these aforementioned attributes places women in a pivotal position to influence how wealth will be sustained and passed on to future generations.

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