Spectrem's Millionaire Investor Confidence Index fell 9 points in April to -1, the company reported Wednesday. April's reading, while considered neutral, is the second consecutive decline, following another 9-point drop in March, This is the lowest level for the Index in seven months.
“Millionaires’ investment confidence fell for a second-straight month in April, suggesting some level of concern about the strength of the economic recovery," George Walper, Jr. (left), president of Spectrem Group, said in a press release. "This decline brought millionaires’ confidence to its lowest level since September 2010, as optimism among the broader affluent population also fell."
The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index, which measures the investment confidence and outlook of households with $500,000 or more in investable assets, experienced a similar decline. The Affluent Index fell 8 points to -7, also a neutral reading. This is the third consecutive drop for the Affluent Index.
“Millionaires and the affluent both expressed concern about the economy and stock market conditions in April, with retirement also ranking as a key factor affecting their investment plans,” Walper noted.
The economy was the most cited factor affecting investment plans among affluent investors, according to Spectrem, trading places with stock market conditions, the top cited factor in January, but No. 2 in the April Index.
In fact, concern over the economic environment was at its highest level since January 2009. Additionally, retirement was cited as a factor for the first time in over a year, though just 7% of respondents said it was the "one factor most affecting their investment plans."
Millionaires were more active in every investment category, Spectrem found, except for one: Non-millionaires were more likely to stop investing in April than millionaires. Millionaires lost interest in stocks andbond mutual funds, but increased investment activity in stock mutual funds and individual bonds. Real estate investments increased for the second month in a row.
Among non-millionaires, investments in stock mutual funds and bond mutual funds fell, while investments in stocks fell slightly. Real estate investments increased for the first time in four months.