The affluent market grew in 2010 due primarily to the stock market rebound, but despite their growing portfolios, attitudes remain significantly different than in 2007. Spectrem’s annual market sizing report indicates that the size of the affluent market increased in 2010 but did not reach the highs obtained in 2007. Overall households with $1 million or more net worth, not including their primary residence (NIPR), grew 8% to 8.4 million households. This follows are 16% rise in 2009 that was preceded by a 27% drop in 2008.
Households with $5 million or more of net worth (NIPR) grew 8% to 1.06 million households.
On an even more positive note, households with $100,000 or more of net worth also grew from 34.6 million to 36.2 million households. These individuals benefited from growth in their retirement plan as well as any savings or investments they may have had.
But overall attitudes are not the same as in 2007. Many households no longer believe their home is a stable asset. Forty one percent of Millionaires expressed this feeling and 37% of households with $100,000 to $1million felt similarly. More than half (55%) of households with less than $1 million still feel that it is more important to protect their principal than grow their assets. Fifty three percent of Millionaires feel similarly compared to only 39% of Millionaires who felt this way in 2009.
And reducing debt continues to be important to 37% of households with $100,000 to $1,000,000.
“While investors are feeling positive about their own portfolios, they are not confident that the economy has recovered,” states George W. Walper, Jr., President of Spectrem Group. “Our ongoing polling and research indicates that investors remain un-convinced that we are back on solid ground.”
While immediate tax issues have been stalled for two years, affluent investors do not believe the issue has gone away. More than 70%, regardless of wealth level, are concerned about increased taxes in the future.