Millionaires in U.S. reach a new high

There are more millionaires in the United States than ever before.

The number of households with net worth of $1 million or more, excluding their homes, is at a record 9.63 million, according to a new report.

That eclipses the old mark of 9.2 million in 2007 before the global financial crisis, according to the Spectrem Group research firm. The tally of millionaires slipped to 6.7 million in 2008 as the financial crisis struck.

The study reinforces other data showing that the wealthy are doing well compared to many other segments of society.

“Most of the financial damage done by the recession has been erased by recent record-high markets in 2013 as well as continued rebound in the real estate markets,” said George Walper, Spectrem president. “In terms of the affluent investor, it is fair to say they have finally recovered from the economic downturn.”

Rich people have been helped by the rebound in the stock market and the recovery in home prices in more exclusive areas. They also got a boost from superior creditworthiness, which allowed them to take advantage of record low interest rates in recent years.

The number of households with $25 million or more also is at a new high of 132,000, surpassing 125,000 in 2007, according to Spectrem.

And the number of families with $100,000 or more continues to climb. It’s now at 38.6 million, up from 37.4 million last year and 31.2 million in 2008.

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