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DC’s affluent evince optimism

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A new study reveals that high-net worth individuals in Washington, D.C., have recovered from the 2008 recession and are feeling upbeat about their current savings and investment strategy.

The study is the second in a series by BMO Private Bank examining trends among high-net worth individuals (those with investible assets of $1 million or more) in Washington and across the country.

According to the study, 90 percent of Washington’s affluent feel good about how they are saving and investing their money and 52 percent expect the U.S. economy to improve over the next year. Furthermore, 52 percent say they are better off today than they were prior to the period before September 2008.

Other key highlights of the study include:

  • High-net worth individuals in the state are most bullish on the technology (80 percent), energy (77 percent) and financial (60 percent) sectors but are among the least upbeat about health (57 percent vs. 78 percent national average) and manufacturing (35 percent vs. 50 percent national average).
  • They believe that stocks (82 percent) and real estate (70 percent) will offer the most positive returns over the next five years.
  • They are spending more than or the same as they did before the recession on travel and vacations (90 percent), entertainment and leisure (89 percent), and collections and hobbies (77 percent).

“Washington’s affluent clearly feel they have made wise saving and investment choices in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, as evidenced by their stable financial position and their confidence in the markets,” says Peter Glidden, managing director, BMO Private Bank. “As they continue to spend and save strategically, they can count themselves as key players in the ongoing upswing of the U.S. economy.”

On a national level, the study found:

  • Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of high-net worth Americans say they are better off today than they were before the recession.
  • Sixty percent of the nation’s affluent are optimistic about what the future holds for the U.S. economy.
  • They are most bullish about the technology (80 percent), health (78 percent) and energy (77 percent) sectors and least optimistic about the prospects for the manufacturing (50 percent), agricultural (46 percent) and mining (43 percent) sectors.

They are spending more money or the same amount as before September 2008 in a number of areas, including:

  • Entertainment and leisure activities (86 percent);
  • Travel and vacations (83 percent);
  • Club memberships (81 percent);
  • Collections and hobbies (80 percent);
  • Clothing and accessories (77 percent).


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