July 20, 2011

Government Debt ‘Major Concern’ for Affluent Investors

Confidence Index at lowest level in 12 months

Investors with more than $500,000 in assets agree that the U.S. government’s deficit is a major concern, a study by research firm TNS found Friday.

In fact, affluent Americans are so concerned about the deficit that 40% of them said they would be willing to pay higher taxes if it meant there would be no changes to Social Security or Medicare. However, the same percentage said they would accept changes to Social Security or Medicare if it would bring the deficit down.

Fifty-six percent of respondents are afraid the government will default on its debt obligations, and 60% don’t think the debt ceiling should be increased.

Investors’ negative outlook brought the TNS Investor Confidence Index to its lowest level in a year, falling 11 points to 102.

Respondents also expressed concern over their own financial well-being. Forty-three percent said they’re worried that the state of the economy will impact their retirement, and 40% said they will reduce the amount of money they spend this year.

"These findings reveal significant stress and discomfort among investors who control the overwhelming majority of the personal wealth” in the United States, Joe Hagan, senior vice president at TNS, said in a press release. “We expect investor confidence to decline further if a decision concerning the debt ceiling isn't made ahead of the August 2nd deadline,” he added.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.