October 9, 2012

Mass Affluents Pessimistic, Millionaires Optimistic on Economy

Despite attitudes, mass affluents plan to invest more while millionaires expect to invest less

Mass affluent households have a pessimistic near-term economic outlook, according to the latest Phoenix Global Wealth Monitor. The report finds 60% of mass affluent households have a negative view of the economy, a figure that was similar, yet lower, than a year ago (66% in August and September 2011).

Having spent much of 2012 with dampened enthusiasm about adding to their portfolios, heading into the last months of the year, there is a five percentage point increase in near-term intentions among mass affluents to invest more (from 24% in June and July to 29% in August and September).

However, following their “typical contrarian economic outlook,” wealth households (those that Phoenix defines as millionaires) turned more bullish over the U.S. economy in the late August and early September measurement.

Forty-three percent were optimistic about the near-term outlook of the economy, up seven points from the previous period. Yet this optimism did not extend to their investment intentions for the near term. The “net increase” investment trend line fell several points to 41%, but is still well above the lows recorded about a year ago.

Every other month, the Phoenix Marketing International Global Wealth Monitors tracks changes that mass affluent and millionaire (wealth) households in the U.S. anticipate making to their investment portfolios in the next three months.

According to Phoenix, as in the past, the report examines trends in planned changes to overall investments, and recent changes made in specific asset categories (three months prior to August / September, 2012). These questions were fielded in late August and early September 2012, using an online questionnaire. Responses were received from 1,165 qualified panelists.

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