Spectrem Group announced today that its Spectrem Affluent Investor Index advanced 8 points in December to end the year at 12, returning to mildly bullish territory for the first time since February 2006. The index, which measures the investment outlook of households with $500,000 or more in investable assets, recovered its upward momentum after giving up 3 points in November. Prior to that, the index had risen for two consecutive months off a near-record low of -5. The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Index also moved higher in December with a 3-point advance to 15. At this level, the millionaires likewise stand in mildly bullish territory, where they spent 9 of the 12 months of 2006.
“Affluent investors ended the year with something of a bang — returning to a mildly bullish investment outlook for the first time since February 2006. This came on a strong 8-point December advance, which reversed a modest decline the month before. Millionaires also posted a gain to end the year — remaining mildly bullish — but now stand just 3 points above the broader affluent population. This is somewhat unusual, as millionaires historically have been markedly more bullish than the affluent. With both indexes posting advances for 3 of the final 4 months of 2006, we have some interesting trends to watch as we move through early 2007,” said George H. Walper, Jr., president of Spectrem Group.
In response to an open-ended question about the biggest threat to their household financial goals, affluent investors cited: the economy (15 percent), health related issues (10 percent), the political climate (9 percent), unemployment (7 percent), cost of living-inflation (6 percent), and gas and oil prices (1 percent). Concern about the economy fell from 17 percent in September 2006, the last time this question was asked.
Similar to the affluent, 18 percent of millionaires cited the economy as the greatest threat to their financial goals. Ranking immediately behind the economy for millionaires were the political climate (12 percent) and cost of living- inflation (8 percent).