Wealthy U.S. households — those with at least $5 million in investable assets — took the majority of the gains brought by the “Covid market runup,” while the wealth and ranks of the mass affluent in the country shrank drastically, according to a new report.

As of August 2020, close to 80% of all wealth in the U.S. was already held by around 10% of households with $1 million or more, Hearts & Wallets says in a new market sizing report that considered data from government sources on 60,000 U.S. households and a survey of 5,920 participants.

But it was households with $5 million or more in investable assets that accounted for 80% of the $12.7 trillion in market gains over the past 18 months, according to the report.

Meanwhile, there were 25.3 million households with $100,000 to $500,000 in investable assets in 2019, which collectively represented $7.5 trillion, Hearts & Wallets says. In 2020, that dropped to 21.9 million households, and their cumulative wealth fell to $5.6 trillion, according to the report.

Hearts & Wallets also believes there are misconceptions about the coming wealth transfer, in part because of which age demographic will grow the fastest: Households with individuals who are 75 years old and up will increase by 40% over the next nine years and will represent 15% of all households by 2030, compared to 12% in 2020, according to the report.

“A common myth is that inheritances will go from boomers to millennials, when the reality is the majority of wealth transition will go from the Silent Generation to their Gen X heirs,” Amber Katris, Hearts & Wallets subject matter expert, said in a statement. “Older households and their families can benefit from support to have difficult conversations about finances and from financial solutions to support aging family members.”

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