Affluent investors’ confidence passed that of millionaires for the first time since April 2008, gaining 9 points in May of this year, according to the results of the latest Affluent Investor Confidence Index from Spectrem Group.

Affluent investors are defined as households with more than $500,000 in investable assets.

Data released on Wednesday showed that while the index remains at a neutral level of 2 thanks to an 8-point decline in April, its 9-point May gain enabled it to pull ahead of the Millionaire Investor Confidence Index. The millionaire index also gained in May, although it only added 2 points, bringing it to a neutral level of 1.

Additional data from both indices are available on Spectrem’s recently launched Millionaire Corner website.

“The investment confidence of affluent investors improved in May, more than recouping its April decline during a month when politics and energy prices were top concerns for the nation’s wealthiest investors,” said George H. Walper Jr. (left), president of Spectrem Group, in a statement. “Interestingly, this advance brought the affluent to a higher level of investment confidence than the millionaire population, which is unusual since millionaires have historically been the more confident group.”

Affluent investors polled about news headlines that most affected their economic outlook cited, in order of importance:

  • The political environment (17%)
  • Gas and oil prices (14%)
  • The economy (10%)
  • Unemployment (10%)
  • The deficit (10%)
  • International problems (7%)

When the question was last asked in February, only 9% cited the political environment.

Among millionaires, politics loomed larger and the cost of gas and oil just a bit less: 23% cited the political environment as their first concern, and a slightly lower 13% cited gas and oil prices.

Read ‘Millionaires' Confidence Index Falls on Economic, Stock Market Concerns’ at AdvisorOne.com.