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Affluent Investors Forecast Improved Financial Situation

Less wealthy households, more hesitant to re-engage with the market, have not benefited as much from the recovery.

| BY Donald Liebenson

Affluent investors are regaining confidence in the economy, but less wealthy households, more hesitant to re-engage with the market, have not benefitted as much from the recovery. Thus, these Mass Affluent investors’ personal economic concerns are more keenly felt than those in wealthier households, according to a Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner Affluent Market Insights study released Thursday.

Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of Mass Affluent investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence)’ cite maintaining their current financial position as their primary personal concern, compared with 65 percent of Millionaire households and 61 percent of Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $24.9 million.

Similarly, they are significantly more concerned about their retirement. A majority (58 percent) are uncertain whether they will be able to retire as planned, compared with 44 percent of Millionaires and just 25 percent of UHNW respondents. More than two-thirds (67 percent) are concerned that their savings will not sustain them through their retirement. (a concern of 48 percent of Millionaires and 32 percent of the UHNW).

Across all Affluent wealth levels, nearly seven-in-ten investors said they are concerned about the financial security of subsequent generations; their children or grandchildren.

The Affluent Market Insights study is based on Spectrem Group’s monthly online research with investors across all wealth segments.

There are almost 9 million American households with at least $1 million or more of net worth, just over 1.1 million with more than $5 million, and 117,000 with more than $25 million. While households with at least $500,000 of net worth have been slower to recover from the economic collapse, households more than $1million, $5 million and $25 million are close to recovering to pre-recession levels. The least wealthy households have seen some recovery, but this is primarily due to the fact that the greatest portion of their assets is represented by retirement accounts such as 401(k)s.

Along with market activity, another factor in this discrepancy may be investment mindset. Mass Affluent investors are significantly less likely than their wealthier cohorts to say they enjoy investing. Just over one-third (34 percent) said investing is something they do not wish to give up, compared to 47 percent of Millionaire households, 60 percent of the UHNW and 71 percent of investors with at least $25 million in net worth.

Similarly, Mass Affluent respondents were the least likely to be involved with the day-to-day management of their investments (41 percent, vs. half of Millionaires, 58 percent of the UHNW, and 64 percent of $25 Million Plus).

Not surprisingly, the Affluent Market Insight study found that confidence in an improved financial situation by next year declines with wealth, from 55 percent of UHNW to 49 percent of Mass Affluent.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

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.