Affluent Investors Cite Iraq, Social Security, as Pressing Concerns

CHICAGO (HedgeWorld.com)--The latest Spectrem Affluent Investor Index shows that many among the wealthy have turned their attention to Social Security.

In response to an open-ended question about the news events driving their economic outlook, affluent investors (i.e., those in households with US$500,000 or more in investable assets) in February cited the Iraq war (20%), social security (12%), the deficit (8%) and increasing oil and gas prices (6%).

"This comes in sharp contrast to November 2004, when Social Security barely moved the needle in our polling," said the president of Spectrem Group, George H. Walper Jr., in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Spectrem Millionaire Index showed that the financial decision makers in households with US$1,000,000 in investable assets put Social Security third on their list. It was cited by 8% of the millionaires, behind the war (19%) and the deficit (12%).

Polling also showed that affluent investors have returned to mildly bullish territory, gaining three points in February to reach an overall reading of 11. They were mildly bullish in December, but slipped into neutral territory in January. The Spectrem Millionaire Index, on the other hand, has been quite consistent. In February, it rose one point to 21, marking its fifth straight month in mildly bullish terrain.

The Spectrem Group is a strategic consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets, integrating proprietary research with expertise in building business, marketing, and merger and acquisition strategies. Its Affluent Investor Index is based on 250, 10-minute telephone interviews each month. The Millionaire Index is based on a subset of that survey group, which can vary each month but typically is drawn from more than 100 interviews.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com">.

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