Investors in a new poll were bullish about the economy and their household finances, but also worried about losing their income because of investment risk, Nuveen, TIAA’s investment manager, reported Tuesday.
A big majority of survey participants said they relied on their financial advisors for help with income planning.
The Harris Poll conducted the online poll in the spring among 1,010 U.S. investors 21 and older with at least $100,000 in investable assets. Participants were primary or shared decision makers for financial decisions for themselves or their family, and were currently working with an advisor.
Fifty-eight percent of investors surveyed had a positive outlook about the economy heading into 2018, similar to their outlook for last year — and a big improvement from the 38% who were positive in 2015.
Two-thirds of investors were upbeat about their household financial situation — in part, perhaps, because of the stock market boom of 2017, according to Nuveen — compared with 54% in 2015.
Millennials in the survey stood out for their favorable outlook: 83% for their household finances and 75% for the 2018 economy in 2018. Three-quarters of these younger investors reported wage growth in the three months prior to the survey.
Bob Doll, Nuveen’s chief equity strategist, recently predicted that 2018 would be “less perfect” than last year.
Notwithstanding their optimism, 77% of participants in the new poll opined that the larger economic situation made investing more complex. Eighty percent said they always or sometimes paid attention to investment risk, meaning the risk of losing money.
At the same time, the survey showed that they were less attuned to other risks: inflation (72%), income volatility (69%), interest rate risk (68%) and credit risk (46%).
Nuveen noted that this may explain why 77% of survey participants looked to a financial advisor for help with income planning. Financial advisors, it said, can help clients understand and address the various risks to the gains made in their income-focused portfolios, not just protect against loss.
More than half of participants said that in the next six months, they would like to talk with their advisor about a portfolio that could both generate a steady stream of cash income and preserve capital.
2018 Tax Reform
Sixty-five percent of investors said they approved of the new tax plan enacted this year, and two of three expected the plan to be at least somewhat beneficial to them personally.
Eighty-three percent of millennials approved of the tax plan, compared with 63% of Gen Xers, 61% of young baby boomers, 50% of older ones and 58% of investors 72 and older.
The perceived benefits of the tax plan declined with survey participants’ age, from 85% of millennials down to the mid-40% range of older investors.
Respondents’ investable assets also influenced their views of the plan, with those in the $500,000 to $999,999 range appearing to be the most optimistic about the tax plan’s effect on their personal situations.
Republicans in the House of Representatives are expected to consider soon a draft “tax reform 2.0” package addressing charitable contributions and retirement savings measures.
— Check out Retirement Saving Remains Elusive for Millennials: Study on ThinkAdvisor.