From possessions to experiences: Trends in high-net-worth lifestyle management

As the next generation takes over, the ultra-high net worth community is experiencing a notable shift in values. Traditional symbols of wealth, like material possessions, are losing their appeal. Instead, this affluent group is now prioritising experiences, individuality, sustainability, and social responsibility. This article explores these changing trends, to help family offices and lifestyle management advisors navigate the market more effectively.
possession and experience

What you need to know

  • Consumption has been accelerating for the last 100 years, with exponential growth in the last two decades. 
  • In the UHNW market, there is an evident shift from material to experiential spending. 
  • Individuality and privacy are becoming more important than ever and experiences now hold more value than expensive possessions.
Luxury & Lifestyle Updated on January 16, 2024

Every generation is different from the one before, something that becomes increasingly evident when we look back a century or two when the world was entirely different from what it is today. In the “good old days,” previous generations bought the best-quality items they could afford, with the expectation that they would last a lifetime. My grandfather taught me that he wasn’t “rich enough to buy cheap things.” Meaning, cheaper items break too quickly and need to be replaced, ultimately costing more than buying an expensive item that would last. As family offices look to better serve their clients, lifestyle management trends suggest there is a move away from possessions, towards meaningful experiences.

The rise of consumerism

However, those days seem long gone, and we have entered an entirely different era. The change began when the world transitioned to consumerism, a concept that was identified about 100 years ago and has been accelerating in our society ever since. In a nutshell, consumerism is the idea that more is better. The ever-shortening life cycles of consumer products and technologies like phones, computers, and other fleeting entertainments fuel consumption. Mainstream media has played its part in perfecting the art of pushing consumption, with the general narrative being that if you don’t consume, you’ll become inadequate among your peers quickly. As hard as it might be to admit, oftentimes, we don’t buy things for how they make us feel, but rather for how they make others feel about us.

About the Authors

Tim Daum

Tim Daum

Premium Lifestyle & Medical Services

Tim Daum is an expert in bespoke lifestyle management and medical services and the co-founder of Veltracon Lifestyle AG, an agency that serves high-net-worth individuals.

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