http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2010/09/16/millionaire-population-still-is-soaring/ Earlier this summer, I reported on two surveys (here and here) that showed a bounce back in the population of millionaires. Associated Press Mr. Monopoly, played by Merwin Goldsmith, throws out Monopoly money during a promotion for the game at Washingtonâs Union Station in 2003.Since then, the stock market has floundered, the economy has slumped and overseas markets have drifted sideways. And yetâ¦.Americaâs millionaire-manufacturing sector continues to outperform the rest of the economy. According to a new survey from Phoenix Marketing Internationalâs Affluent Market Practice, the number of American households with investible assets of $1 million or more rose 8% in the 12 months ended in June. The survey says there now are 5.55 million U.S. households with investible assets of $1 million or more. That follows two years of declines and brings the millionaire count back to 2006 levels. Of course, that is still below the peak of 5.97 million in 2007 and the current growth rate is well below pre-financial crisis levels, when the millionaire population increased as much as 35% a year. Still, the numbers offer further evidence that the wealthy may have decoupled from the rest of the economy. The studyâs authors say high salary growth, rather than investments, are the main drivers of the millionaire expansion. The very wealthy seem to have had a better year than the mere millionaires. The population of American households with $5 million or more in investible assets surged 16%. The population of those with $10 million to invest increased 17%. Granted, the very wealthy have had a bit of a bumpier ride than the lesser millionaires when it comes to their net worth. While the net worth of millionaires declined by a total of 14% during the global financial crisis, pentamillionaires (those with $5 million plus) saw their wealth drop 23% and decamillionaires sank 25%. The lesson: the richer the millionaire, the more resilient they have been in this downturn. But more wealth these days also brings more volatility, since large wealth is probably more dependent on financial markets than broader economic growth. Do you think the millionaire count will continue to rise in the second half of 2009? Where will the wealth come from? METHODOLOGY NOTE: For those asking why the Phoenix numbers are higher or lower than the Merrill or Spectrem numbers, the short answer is that all use different methodologies and measure different things. Merill/Capgemini measures individuals, not households. And they use an imputed methodology based on total wealth estimates by country and adjusting for stock index values, etc. Phoenix polls affluent investors directly for the value of their holdings and loans in about 80 different product categories, then rolls the data into various wealth measurements such as investible assets (which excludes employer-sponsored retirement, real estate, etc), net worth, total assets, total liabilities, etc. It then weights the findings by age and income within investible asset categories so it can make calculations at the national level.