Millionaires’ Confidence in U.S. Economy Falls Again

Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index posted fourth consecutive decline in September

The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index sank for a fourth consecutive month in September, falling one point to minus 10 from August’s four-point drop. The September results bring the index to its lowest level since August 2010, when it stood at minus 18.

According to Chicago-based Spectrem’s news release, however, the millionaire index “remains in neutral territory. On the other hand, the Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index, which measures the investment confidence and outlook of households with $500,000 or more in investable assets, gained two points in September to minus 1—which is mildly bearish.

Spectrem Group President George H. Walper Jr. “Millionaires’ investment confidence fell again in September, further extending a decline that began back in June 2011,” said Spectrem Group President George H. Walper Jr. (left) in a statement. “The broader affluent population posted a small gain in confidence during the month, but it remains in mildly bearish territory.”

Importantly, Walper added, both groups were heavily focused on the economy in September, “suggesting that continued uncertain economic news will bode poorly for their investment confidence as we move further into the fall.”

Spectrem gathered the September data before both the stock market sell-off the week beginning Sept. 19 and the Federal Reserve introduced its “Operation Twist” plan to stimulate the economy by buying $400 billion in long-term Treasury securities.

In response to an open-ended question about the most serious threat to achieving their household financial goals, affluent investors in September cited:

  • The economy (39%)
  • The political climate (21%)
  • Market conditions (11%)
  • Inflation (7%)
  • Unemployment (5%)
  • Health-related issues (2%)

Those citing the economy rose from 35% in June 2011, the last time this question was asked, while those citing the political climate rose from 14%. Millionaires were less focused on the economy (35%) and the political climate (14%) than the affluent.

Read Affluent Investor Confidence Index Dropped Sharply in August at AdvisorOne.com.

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