How did the recent government shutdown and ongoing gridlock and stalemate impact the mindset of the Affluent investor?
From the standpoint of investor confidence, October has been more treat than trick, Affluent investors are saying. The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI®), which last month surged to an almost 6 ½-year high, plunged 12 points to -4, a nine-month low in October.
The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI®) which had similarly reached a nearly 9 ½ high in September, fell 15 points to 8. This is the largest month-to-month drop since April-May 2009.
The indices measure the investment confidence and outlook of households with more than $500,000 of investables and more than $1 million of investables, respectively.
October was rife with gridlock and stalemate that failed to avert a 16-day government shutdown. Long-simmering partisan divides over the Affordable Health Care Act and the debt ceiling boiled over, and while the market did not suffer feared volatile swings, consumer confidence took a significant hit, falling to its lowest level since the fiscal cliff crisis in late 2012, according to one national survey.
What is this doing to the mindset of the Affluent investor? When asked how they plan to invest in the coming month, significantly more than the previous month said they plan to hold on the sidelines.
Affluent investors are saying in October that stock market conditions is the one factor that is most impacting their current investment plans, but they are keeping an increasingly watchful eye on economic conditions and the political climate, further indication that they feel gridlock in Washington D.C. is preventing substantive progress on the economy
This, in turn, has wreaked havoc with the Spectrem Affluent Household Outlook, which in September had risen to its highest reading since January 2011, only to fall in October to an eight-month low. The Outlook, a monthly survey of Affluent attitudes toward financial factors that impact their daily lives, reveals particular pessimism in the direction of the economy.
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.