Millionaires are applying lessons learned in the recession to the latest market challenges.
Sadder, but wiser describes Millionaire Investors who say they emerged from the financial crisis of 2008 better prepared to deal with today’s financial challenges.
“Millionaires, on the whole, are sophisticated investors, but even they got caught up in a ‘boom-time’ investment mentality that eventually led to losses during the recession,” said Catherine McBreen, president of Millionaire Corner.com. “Then most Millionaires adopted a more defensive position, holding large amounts of cash during the recession and into the recovery. When they began to re-enter the stock market last year it was with a large dose of caution.”
Most Millionaires saw their wealth diminish during the recession’s steep stock selloff and real estate crash, but they say tough lessons learned during those trying times have helped them ride out the most recent market turbulence. The majority surveyed by Millionaire Corner over the last few weeks say there were better or much better prepared for the recent market downturn, compared to the financial crisis of 2008. The same percentage – 56 percent - agreed with the statement, “My experience from the market crisis of 2008 helped me cope with this downturn and I wasn’t upset with the drop in stock prices.”
While the group was evenly divided over whether they believed the current sell off constituted a crisis or “just the normal changes of stock prices,” more than 58 percent said they believed the most recent downturn was “based more on emotion than on factual information.”
While the stock market plummeted downward in the biggest selloff since 2008, nearly 20 percent of Millionaires independently researched their options and close to 30 percent of took advantage of the selloff to purchase additional stock and 14 percent moved investments into less risky instruments such as cash. More than 12 percent called their advisor to ask questions about what they should do, and more than 16 percent received calls from advisors who answered questions and assured the investors than everything would be alright.
The seasoned group expressed a higher level of concern over national issues, with well over half (56 percent) reporting concern over a further downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.
Millionaires currently see the most opportunity in individual bonds and real estate, according to the results of the August Spectrem Millionaire Confidence Index. They express a slight increase in stocks, and are moving away from cash and mutual funds made up of stocks and bonds. Market volatility may be cooling Millionaires to stocks, while buying opportunities in bonds and real estate appear to be attracting the “smart money.”
The August index reveals a shift in investment attitudes from the fourth quarter of 2010 when Millionaires expressed a greater interest in cash and equities. In December Millionaires said they most likely to invest in equities (45 percent), followed by cash (38 percent), bonds (30 percent), precious metals (6 percent) and real estate (5 percent). At the end of the year, mutual funds accounted for 19 percent of Millionaires’ investable assets. Stocks and Bonds made up 24 percent of their portfolios and cash accounts, 12 percent.