The New Year did not change the outlook of the affluent significantly, according to the Spectrem Group’s research. The Spectrem Affluent Investor Index, which measures the investment outlook of households with $500,000 or more in investable assets, lost two points in January to a level of 10, returning to neutral territory. The index had spent nine months of 2006 with a neutral outlook, but in December moved into mildly bullish territory for the first time since February 2006. On the other hand, the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Index remained unchanged in January at the mildly bullish level of 15. “Millionaires, as we typically see, were more bullish than the broader affluent population in January, remaining at the same mildly bullish level at which they ended 2006,” explained George Walper, president of Spectrem Group, in announcing the index numbers.

According to Spectrum, affluent investors cited the following factors as most impacting their investment plans: stock market conditions (20%); the economic environment (9%); retirement (9%); household cash flow (7%); household income (6%); housing and real estate (5%); low investment returns (3%); and job security (3%). Millionaires were primarily concerned with: stock market conditions (26%); the economic environment (11%); and household cash flow (11%).