More Affluent households in September chose to retreat from the market, according to Spectrem Group's monthly survey of investment preferences. "Not Investing" gained four points to 39.1, a 10-month high.
But Affluent investors were not completely content to sit on the sidelines. Stocks rose 2 points to 31.9, a four-month high. And while Stock Mutual Funds dropped 4.9 points to 29.2, a four-month low, this was the second-most popular investment preference. Investment in Cash dropped 7.8 points to 23.1, the biggest decline in 10 months. Other more conservative investments also posted decreases. Bond Mutual Funds fell 3 points to 16.2, while investment in Bonds dipped 2 points to 8.3.
Real Estate investment dropped 3 points to 6.8, an 11-month low.
Our monthly survey further breaks down Affluent investor preferences by Millionaire and Non-Millionaire households. Millionaires were more active investors in September. Investments in Stocks rose 6.4 points to 43, a six-month high. The second-most active investment was Stock Mutual Funds, which decreased 3.3 points to 32.6. Investment in Cash dropped 11.2 points--the biggest decrease in over a year-and-a-half--to 24.8.
Slightly more Millionaire households chose "Not Investing," which rose 3.3 points to 30.6. But this was not as many as Non-Millionaires. In these households, "Not Investing" rose 5.2 points to 48.5, a seven-month high.
Non-Millionaires invested most in Stock Mutual Funds, which dropped 6.8 points in September to 24.4, an 11-month low. Investment in Cash declined 4.4 points to 21.3. Stocks dipped 3.3 points to 19.5, the lowest level in one year. Bond Mutual Funds were basically unchanged, at 12.8, a 0.6 point downward tick.
The least active investments in Non-Millionaire households were Bonds, which dropped 4.1 points to 2.5, the lowest level since June 2011, and Real Estate, which declined 2.2 points to 4.1, the lowest level since December 2008.
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.