Personal Values and Money: Schwab Modern Wealth Study

Fast Company, Barrons, Fortune and Business Wire recently covered Charles Schwab’s Modern Wealth Study, conducted with Logica Research. This study revealed the latest in Americans’ views on wealth—and that spending, saving and investing are becoming increasingly values-driven.

Defining What Wealth Means

As cited in Barrons covering this sixth annual Schwab Modern Wealth Study,  Americans now consider being wealthy at $2.2 million of net worth on average—up from $1.9 million in 2021, but still lower than the $2.6 million they indicated from 2020.

 

What It Takes to be Financially Comfortable

Study participants also responded that an average net worth of $774,000 is what they would need in today’s world to feel financially comfortable. Fast Company shares that “people have learned to adjust their lifestyles and their financial outlooks after living through the pandemic,” referencing the 2018 Schwab Modern Wealth Study where people’s financial comfort number came in at a much higher $1.4 million. As noted in Fortune, the median net worth for U.S. households is $121,700, but many U.S. households still have little or no savings.


Values-Driven Money Management

The importance of personal values in terms of investing, saving and spending has risen, according to Business Wire’s coverage of the study. Seventy-three percent of Americans surveyed said their personal values guide how they make life decisions more today than they did pre-pandemic. And 69% are giving top consideration to supporting causes near and dear to them when thinking about their financial planning. The coverage breaks this down by generation, with respondents answering how “personal values guide how I make life decisions more today than they did two years ago”.

  • Gen Z (included ages 21 to 24): 82%
  • Millennials (ages 25 to 40): 79%
  • Gen X (ages 41 to 56): 70%
  • Baby Boomers (ages 57 to 75): 64%

Views on Corporate Values

According to the Barrons article, a company’s reputation is a key factor influencing investing decisions, as well as corporate values—with 84% of investors expressing interest in a more personalized investment portfolio. Also important to Modern Wealth Study respondents were more traditional factors like a company’s performance and its stock price.


To find out more information, you can read articles by Fast Company, Barrons, Fortune and Business Wire.


Background: Logica Research conducted an online survey for Charles Schwab from February 8, 2022 to February 27, 2022, among a national sample of 1,000 Americans aged 21 to 75. Quotas were set to balance the national sample on key demographic variables. You can find more information on the Modern Wealth Study here.

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