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Volatile Market Conditions Most Serious Current Threat to Achieving Financial Goals, Say Affluent Investors

Concern about market conditions tends to be heightened in September, a month in which, historically, the stock market’s three leading indexes tend to perform the poorest.

| BY Donald Liebenson


“Market Conditions” is considered to be the most serious current threat to achieving their household’s financial goals at this time, according to a September survey of Affluent investors conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.

Seen as lesser threats are the economy, political climate, inflation and international developments.

In the past three years, Affluent investors have steadily seen the partisan political climate and government gridlock as serious threats to achieving their household's financial goals, but concern about market conditions tends to be heightened in September, a month in which, historically, the stock market’s three leading indexes tend to perform the poorest. Affluent investors surveyed by Millionaire Corner in late August seemed to be bracing themselves for the most challenging month, investment-wise, when they were asked how they intended to invest in the coming month. The number that said they would hold on the sidelines rather than invest increased sharply over the previous month, while intention to invest in stocks and stock mutual funds declined.

In comparison, when asked this month about their investment preferences in the short-term, Affluent respondents indicated a renewed engagement with the market and less inclination to not invest.

Indeed, this month seemed to justify their more cautious investment mindset. While the market is still trending up for the year, it has also been more volatile than last year. At one point in September, U.S. stocks posted their worst daily decline since July 31. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had recorded 18 record closes over the course of the year thus far, suffered three days of more than 100-points losses as investors grappled with such concerns as global instability. In the week of Sept. 24, Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” surged nearly 30 percent.

When asked this month what they considered to be the most serious threat to achieving their household’s financial goals at this time, the highest percentage of Affluent respondents (20 percent) cited market conditions. This is five percentage points higher than June, when this question was last asked, and the highest percentage in at least three years. Of Affluent investors who are Millionaires, 25 percent said they consider market conditions to be the most serious threat to achieving their household’s financial goals.

 



About the Author


Donald Liebenson

dliebenson@millionairecorner.com

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.