News stories about the partisan political climate a waning influence on Affluent investors' economic outlook
When asked what news story is most affecting their economic outlook, the highest percentage (18 percent) of Affluent investors surveyed in May by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, replied, “Stock Market Conditions. This is up from 6 percent in February when this survey question was last asked, and an indication that Affluent investors are closely monitoring the stock market rally for signs it may be peaking.
At that time, the news story that Affluent investors said was most affecting their economic outlook was the polarized Political Environment, the perception that the White House and lawmakers would not or could not work together on issues affecting the economic recovery. This may be a case of partisan fatigue.
The second most closely watched news story by Affluent Investors was the sequestration, the mandated across-the-board federal spending cuts that went into effect last March. In May, only two percent of Affluent survey respondents said that the sequester was a factor in shaping their economic outlook. A Gallup poll conducted at the beginning of May similarly found that he majority of Americans still don't know enough to say whether the federal budget sequestration cuts are a good thing or a bad thing for the country, but of those who do have an opinion, most believe is having a negative impact on the economy.
Of more concern to these Affluent investors in May is unemployment, which ticked downward in April to 7.5 percent (the government’s May jobs report will be released next Friday). Fourteen percent of respondents said it was the news story most affecting their economic outlook, up from 8 percent in February. Eight percent said International Problems, up from 5 percent three months ago.
Along with sequestration and the political environment, Affluent investors are also putting much less weight on news stories about the federal deficit (6 percent in May, down from 10 percent in February) and the Economy in general (5 percent, down from 9 percent).
Between Affluent respondents overall and Millionaires, specifically, the latter are most likely to be paying closer attention to news stories about Unemployment (16 percent vs. 14 percent) and the Economy (7 percent vs. 5 percent), while Affluent respondents overall are more closely watching news stories about the Political Environment (13 percent vs. 9 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.